Christmas carols at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek
Vail CO, Colorado
Editor’s note: Director’s Corner is a weekly column where Kris Sabel, who is in charge of cultural programming for the Vail Valley Foundation, gives his expert take on shows not to be missed.
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” It’s official: the holidays are here! Over the next two weeks the Vilar Performing Arts Center is doing its part to celebrate the season. On Dec. 21 we present a heartwarming musical version of the timeless classic “A Christmas Carol.” And on Dec. 23 we have all of your favorite holiday favorites sung in amazing harmonies by one of the most successful guy groups of the ’60s and ’70s, The Lettermen.
But we kick things off Monday with “A Viennese Christmas” performed by the New Sigmund Romberg Orchestra and Soloist. And best of all ” following the performance, the Vilar Center will be hosting a complimentary holiday reception for all who attend. So please come out to enjoy the beautiful music of the season, followed by traditional holiday cheer.
For those too young to remember Sigmund Romberg, he was Hungary’s gift to melody-loving Americans. Romberg was part of the group of composers who formed the bridge between opera and musical theatre in the 1920s with hits like “The Student Prince,” “The Desert Song” and “The New Moon.” Romberg created melodies that appealed to a broad base of fans. Among his friends and musical collaborators were Al Jolson, Oscar Hammerstein II, Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Irving Berlin. Upon the advent of sound films, Romberg moved to Hollywood to compose film scores and host a weekly radio program. In the 1940s he took his orchestra on tour around the US, granting them the title of “America’s First Touring Pops Orchestra.”
Monday night the Vilar Center will be filled with lush interpretations of traditional Christmas favorites like “The Holly and the Ivy,” “I Wonder As I Wander,” “Toyland” and many more in this pops celebration of the season. The Orchestra will take us on a ‘Musical Sleigh Ride,’ with versions of the holiday classic penned by Mozart in the 18th century and by Leroy Anderson in 1948.
The second half of the program will include works from Victor Herbert’s classic “Babes in Toyland,” including “Toyland” and “March of the Wooden Soldiers.” Music from both Johann Strauss Sr. and Jr. will have you tapping your toes and swaying in the aisles. To complete the musical picture, the orchestra will be joined by four soloists throughout the evening.
Throughout the holiday season we hear this music in our cars, on elevators and in stores, but what a treat to hear it live with the intimacy and warm acoustics found in the Vilar Performing Arts Center.
I hope to see you at the theatre for this holiday celebration.