Review: Candlelight Christmas Performance by Lyric Theatre Singers

Candlelight Christmas with The Lyric Theater Singers. Photo by Tam Lan Truong Candlelight Christmas with The Lyric Theater Singers. Photo by Tam Lan Truong

Like your favourite throw, their harmonies weave around you so warmly and surround you with a glow, a joy that wells up from deep inside. We may not have had a lot of snow yet, and, if you’re lucky, the crazy rush of the holidays hasn’t quite struck yet. I encourage you to take a moment out of your ordinary and steep yourself in a healthy dose of holiday cheer with Candelight Christmas.

The Lyric Theatre Singers are known to put on a great show, and they’ve come through in spades with this year’s Candlelight Christmas. As I listened, I imagined that if I were a synesthete, I would be seeing rich honey yellows and deep brass, golds and twinkling silver. Musical Directors, Bob Bachelor and Chris Barrillaro, have combined wonderful arrangements of classics, old and new.

You won’t want to miss their cover of Straight No Chaser and Kristen Bell’s Text Me Merry Xmas. I couldn’t really pick a best song, but I was very much moved by I Wish You Christmas sung as the audience passed the light of their candles to one another until the whole place was filled with candlelight. I also particularly liked the jazzy Silent Night, I can’t usually get through that one with a dry eye, ever since my grandfather passed away to the lyric “Sleep in heavenly peace”, but their version allowed me to enjoy the words anew. Aaaannnd, you get to sing during the singalong, too!

The venue has great acoustics, but nonetheless, it blew me away how little miking this group requires. These ladies and gentlemen sing so sweetly, so purely, and with such skill and ease that their voices arrive at your ears as surely as they left their mouths.

Sticking with some winter visuals, I might compare the singing to the rosy cheeks, blanket in your lap and the jingle bells- making the instrumentation the horse drawn carriage. I felt like I was in a recording studio to the score of every one of my favourite holiday films. It was only recently that I began to really appreciate film scores for the orchestration, so I’m particularly fond of live instruments. Flute, harp, percussion, piano, cello… hello! They added such a nice richness to the program.

Of note, they put on a bilingual show, so everyone can enjoy. Great for the family to take in together. You can also help out local families, by contributing non-perishable food items to the NDG Food Depot when you go.

Candlelight Christmas by The Lyric Theater Singers took place December 3-6th at Loyola Chapel Concordia University (7121 Sherbrooke Street West). $28 (Adults); $26 (Students/Seniors); $12 (Children 12 and under).