One of many things that make the holidays special is the experience of a live performance. Whether it’s a play, a panto, a symphony, an opera—gathering together to enjoy a festive arts foray is part of our prized winter calendar.
Sadly, like so many of our treasured traditions, this year will be different. No, we can’t (for the moment) attend a live performance, but, undeterred, arts organizations who bring us our annual holiday shows have pivoted to provide us a streaming alternative. There is plenty here to entertain your household, so pull out the calendar and start planning your holiday home arts extravaganza.
Christmas With Chor Leoni
Forced to cancel its planned immersive choral experience Translucence, Vancouver’s magnificent male choir has regrouped to offer a free concert available to stream between December 18 and January 1. Traditional carols and other seasonal offerings will be featured in this hour-long performance. Viewers wishing to support the choir with a tax-deductible donation will be offered the chance when they RSVP via Chor Leoni’s website.
The Twelve Dates of Christmas
The Arts Club Theatre Company presents a one-woman play described as a “Sex and the City spin on the holiday season.” Written by Ginna Hoben, the show follows Mary as she rebounds from her fiancé’s betrayal by starting to date again. It is available to stream now through January 3, and viewers will be prompted to choose between versions performed by two different actors, Genevieve Fleming and Melissa Oei.
A VSO Christmas Story
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s dedicated online streaming subscription service has a rich selection of performances available at different price points, beginning at just $9.99. This concert—hosted by Christopher Gaze on December 19—is, in the spirit of giving, being presented free to all.
Panto Come Home!
The East Van Panto is one of the highlights of the holiday season in my family, and we are thrilled we can still enjoy it this year—from our sofa. Featuring live performances (you book a specific day and time from December 17 to 27) of the previous years’ pantos’ greatest hits, this one is for the entire household, young or old.
Music for the Winter Solstice
Also pulling together work from previous performances, Music on Main presents a reimagined version of what is always a magical night of music and warmth. A compilation of moments from the past six years’ concerts, alongside new material recorded for this year, will be presented as an hour-long concert on December 16 and include a post-performance talk with some of the artists. Following the live stream, a video link will be available to view at your convenience on the Music on Main website.
Amahl and the Night Visitors
Vancouver Opera continues its digital performances with this holiday offering from the Italian composer and librettist Gian Carlo Menotti. First performed as a live broadcast on NBC on December 24, 1951, this tale follows the Three Kings as they follow the Star of Bethlehem, stopping at the home of a poor, disabled shepherd boy, Amahl. Just 45 minutes long, the live stream premieres at 7:30 p.m. on December 12, and will be available to ticket holders to watch at their convenience during the Opera’s spring season.
If Christmas isn’t Christmas without a Sugar Plum Fairy and the Mouse King making an appearance, then you can relax secure in the knowledge that Tchaikovsky’s classic remains part of your holiday at home. Vancouver’s Goh Ballet presents a reimagined video version—The Nutcracker: Beyond the Stage—danced by members of its school and available to screen free from December 18 for two weeks.
Read more on the Vancouver Arts scene.