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Peace-ful Christmas Classics

Dec 11, 2014

nutracker, messiah, handel's messiah, tradional christmas, christmas opera, christmas performance. we go north, north christmas, northern christmas, peace region christmasIn 1741, George Handel composed an oratorio that he titled, simply, Messiah. It was written in English, which was becoming more popular at the time, but wasn’t performed in England until a full year after its premier in Ireland. Today it is one of the most popular and most often performed pieces of baroque music in the world.

150 years later, in 1892 in St. Petersburg, Tchaikovsky premiered The Nutcracker. As a suite, music from the ballet was quite popular. As a ballet, however, it was something of a failure. The Nutcracker didn’t really catch on until very recently in the 1960s. These days, of course, when most people think of Tchaikovsky, they think of the handsome nutcracker, the Mouse King, and the Land of the Sweets.

What both of these masterpieces share in common, besides their undeniable status as masterpieces, is that, even though neither work was created with Christmas in mind they have both become Christmas classics. We wouldn’t be surprised if it were scientifically proven to be impossible to hear Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and not think of Santa Claus.

This Christmas season, if you’d like to see one of these great works of art performed live you have a few options. In Fort St. John, the Northern Lights Youth Choir is performing Handel’s Messiah at the Alliance Church on December 14th, and the North Peace Cultural Centre on the 15th. The show on the 14th will feature both the children’s choir and the full choir. They will be performing a sing along version of Handel’s Messiah. The show at the Cultural Centre on the 15th will be a full production of the Messiah.

If you’re interested in a new take on an old classic, you’ll want to be in Dawson Creek on the 13th for The Nutcracker Remixed. Students from the hip hop, tap, ballet, and jazz programs have put together an updated version of that most beloved of Christmas stories that you won't want to miss. Shows are at 2pm and 7pm at Unchaga Hall and tickets are $10.

For a more traditional version of The Nutcracker, you’ll also want to check out the Studio 2 Stage, Northern Dance Theatre Society, and Stage North production of The Nutcracker in Fort St. John from December 18th to the 21st. It’s bound to be the highlight of the season.

For more on these and other Christmas events, check out the events calendar.

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