Twin Cities’ holiday concerts return: Bach “Brandenburgs,” “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” “Messiah,” more

Posted on: December 3, 2021

“Last December proved a winter of discontent for those who treasure holiday-flavored classical music performances. But live concerts have returned this year, some resuming old traditions, others introducing new ways of marking the season,” writes Rob Hubbard in Thursday’s (12/2) Star Tribune (Minneapolis). “Skylark Opera Theatre … is … returning to live performance with Gian Carlo Menotti’s [‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’] about a child who assists those three kings on their way to Bethlehem…. The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra continues its annual tradition of performing all six of Bach’s ‘Brandenburg’ Concertos…. The Dec. 11 and 18 concerts also will be livestreamed. If you want a little more background on the Second Brandenburg, Rob Kapilow will talk about ‘What Makes It Great’ on Dec. 16…. Neither the Minnesota Orchestra nor the SPCO is performing Handel’s ‘Messiah’ this December (though the SPCO will stream a past performance Dec. 4) … There are other options [including] the Bach Roots Festival…. What are you doing New Year’s Eve? How about helping conductor Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra launch [the Sibelius Festival] … Over the course of three weeks, they’ll perform all seven of Jean Sibelius’ symphonies.”