The Wexford Carol
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Gives A 'Mesmerizing'
I had the honor of attending the Christmas performance of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir this past weekend. The long-awaited event featured Special Guest Rolando Villazon, one of the leading tenors of our time who has been described as possessing "arresting stage presence" beyond just a beautiful voice.
Needless-to-say, I was excited by the prospect of sitting through ninety minutes of musical splendor, but what of my young son, who was attending the concert with me? How would he like it? And would he remain engaged for the duration of the entire concert, if at all? My concerns were, quickly, waylaid when three colorfully decorated, costumed camels trotted out from the audience, along with a caravan of dancers, and made their way onto the stage. My son was hooked from that very moment on. He didn't let out a peep for the rest of the performance, past a few joyful utterings whispered to me in my ear, which, ultimately, led to a whopper of a "thank you" for taking him along.
The entire experience was magical and the choir, itself, 'mesmerizing' -- a descriptive that easily includes the wit, warmth and wonderfully gifted addition of Rolando Villizon. Rolando reached out to the audience through story and song in a way that made you, absolutely, fall in love with him. His jocular and genuine nature resonated so profoundly, that my son could not refrain from retelling the story of "Poncho" in which Rolando had shared while onstage. My son told it to the bellman. He told it to the taxicab driver. He told it to his father. He told it to every one of his brothers and sisters. And he told it to his teacher as well as his entire class. That story about Poncho had legs, well beyond the mere two that it walked in on, I assure you.
The evening was an enormous success, filled with grand theatrics, astounding voices, moving stories, and a joy-filled audience, whose merriment carried over into the streets at the conclusion of the event, despite the chilly, rainy evening. The fire inside each of us, of which the Mormon Tabernacle Choir had lit, would not be drowned out by a few (thousand) raindrops....No Siree! I, daresay, it will burn for many of us well past Christmas 2016, as the experience remains etched in our memories forever. I know it will for me and my son.
And it can for you too as PBS has video taped the concert and will, most likely, be sharing it through their local stations. Might I suggest that you take the opportunity to view it when it comes available or DVR it for later viewing. It is a spectacular treat to behold -- one that brings all kinds of people together through the combined beauty of hymn, humanity, hope, and the, unprecedented, holiday spirit that only a miracle can make.