With the return of twinkly lights to neighbourhood homes and snow threatening to make an appearance, the holiday season is officially upon us. What better way to celebrate than by immersing yourself in the sounds of the season? Luckily, there are a number of Christmas-inspired concerts and performances taking place across the country this December. From solo performances by acclaimed vocalists to grand productions by orchestras and choirs, there’s something for every music lover looking to get into the holiday spirit. Keep reading for our roundup of the top Christmas concerts which are hitting Canadian stages this season.
Photo: calgaryphil on Instagram
Toronto: Festival of Carols by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (December 7th)
Join the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir for their annual performance of Festival of Carols. Joined by the 30-member Canadian Staff Band and organist David Briggs, the performance will include classic carols such as “O Holy Night” as well as lesser known songs such as “The Sussex Carol.” Conducted by the acclaimed Noel Edison, this event is sure to mark a rousing start to the holiday season. Marvel in the sound of one of Canada’s largest choral organizations while singing along to select holiday favourites. If you can’t make it to the actual performance, you can still catch it live via video stream on the TMC website.
Edmonton: Ken Lavigne Christmas Radio Road Show (December 8th-10th)
If you find yourself lamenting the Christmas specials of yesteryear, you’ll love the premise of Ken Lavigne’s new Christmas musical journey. In this performance, Lavingne, an acclaimed tenor vocalist, will take a loving look back to the golden age of radio in the 1940s. Featuring modern classics such as “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and more traditional works such as “What Child Is This,” Lavigne’s performance is sure to be a hit among the nostalgic.
Calgary: Handel’s Messiah by the Calgary Philharmonic (December 9th-10th)
Watch as Handel expert and acclaimed Maestro Nicholas McGegan makes his triumphant return to the Calgary Philharmonic to lead their annual performance of The Messiah. Composed by George Frideric Handel in 1741, The Messiah is a holiday favourite that will delight classical music fans and Christmas fanatics alike. Notable vocal soloists include soprano Dominique Labelle and baritone Alexander Dobson.
Ottawa: Happy Holidays with Heppner by Ben Heppner (December 15th-16th)
The beloved Canadian tenor Ben Heppner will hit the Dominion-Chalmers United Church for a two-night extravaganza. The evening will include a performance of Heppner’s favourite carols and a telling of stories close to his heart. Joined by conductor Jean Sébastian Vallée, a brass and percussion ensemble, and in partnership with the Ottawa Choral Society, these back-to-back performances are sure to be a platform for some of Ottawa’s best and brightest to shine.