‘'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;’ Sounds nice doesn’t it? And quite peaceful although if you have a family not quite the Christmas you realistically know. With Gen Z busy learning the latest Tik Tok dance, babies not sleeping through the night - now that would be a present - Nan blasting out Strictly on the telly it’s general chaos all around. Welsh National Opera knows that every family is different and whether you have millennials falling through the door back from the pub ( looking unlikely this year), little ones running around with the terrible twos or a Christmas for one with Zoom to see friends and loved ones. We would love to share our favourite festive tunes with all of you.
Is Christmas really Christmas without the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker? Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s music makes you think of tiny droplets of snow or miniscule bells and chimes and if you’ve ever wondered what makes the gorgeous sound, the composer himself wrote of how he found the recently invented celesta, ‘midway between a tiny piano and a Glockenspiel, with a divinely wonderful sound.’ Which is very fitting as the word ‘celeste’ actually means heavenly in French. While we may not be watching any ballet in the theatres this year that won’t stop you popping this on at home and giving it your best shot.
If ballet isn’t your first choice and your Christmas culture is more singing along to All I want for Christmas (is my two front teeth) in the car, we’re with you. Anyone who has seen the latest holiday season release from Mariah Carey featuring Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson titled Oh Santa! is in for a treat. If you can’t reach the top notes don’t worry you can always try and dance like the elves on the sidelines - costumes fully encouraged.
Of course if you caught our Play Opera Christmas special you will have Ding Dong Merrily on High with the fun-filled gloooooooo-ria chorus in your heads - you’re welcome! If you are yet to watch make sure you tune in to hear Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride complete with the perfect clip clop of reindeer hooves (and an actual reindeer.) See if you can spot who creates the sound effects in the video. If WNO Orchestra performing live again, complete with tinsel, doesn’t bring a smile to your face we don’t know what will!
Until we can perform live for you again, we wish you a, Silent Night, Holy Night where all is calm and all is bright. In the words of Clement Clarke Moor or St. Nick, ‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!’