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These large, lovely red poinsettias will make the perfect accent for your holiday decorating! You can pick up your poinsettias at the “Little Blue House”, aka the Allen Arts Alliance, on Friday, December 6th for orders of 5 or more plants we are happy to deliver to your home or place of business. You can also opt to donate your poinsettias to clients of Allen Community Outreach’s Meals on Wheels program. Please click below and complete the checkout process, and volunteers will distribute the flowers to this wonderful community program. The price will be $12 for each poinsettia. (All profits offset the cost to provide poinsettias to clients of Meals on Wheels.)
Ring in the Holiday Season as the Allen Philharmonic presents two very special concert events. On Friday, December 20, 2013, join us for Holiday Fantastique at 8:00pm in the Performing Arts Center located on the campus of Allen High School. We welcome special guests, the Allen District Honor Choir and soloist Dee Donasco, in a performance of holiday favorites. Enjoy a classic Christmas narration with perennial favorite Carl Johnson and other holiday favorites that include Variations on Jingle Bells, White Christmas, and O Holy Night. We have even made arrangements to get the “Big Guy” down from the North Pole for a quick last minute visit before his big night.
The Allen District Honor Choir, an auditioned chorus of fifth and sixth grade students, represents every elementary school in the district. Prepared by Cynthia Nott, Artistic Director of the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas, they will perform musical selections which include Stephen Mager’s Kling Glockchen Kling, Ding Dong Merrily on High, and Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabelle.
Philippine-born soprano Dee Donasco is rapidly establishing herself as an artist to watch. At age 10 she won the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) of the Philippines. Ms. Donasco earned her Performance Diploma and her Master of Music degree at Southern Methodist University and received her undergraduate degrees from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi with a double bachelor's in Biology and Music Performance. Her roles at the Meadows Opera Theater include Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Aminta in Mozart’s Il Re Pastore, and her award winning portrayal of Laurie in Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land. She has also performed as Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore and as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi where she studied with Flicka Rahn.
Dee made her Dallas Symphony Orchestra debut as the featured guest artist for the 2011 New Year’s Eve Concert. She spent the summer of 2012 as an Apprentice Artist for Chautauqua Opera where she covered the title role in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and also appeared as a featured soloist in concerts with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Dee also appeared with the Texas Camerata as soprano soloist in Couperin’s Tenebre, as a guest artist in Turtle Creek Chorale’s Christmas Concerts, as well as a guest artist for Voices of Change in their season opening concert in October 2013.
The Allen Symphony Chorus will present Rutter’s Gloria. Written as a concert work, it was commissioned by the Voices of Mel Olson from Omaha, Nebraska. John Rutter, composer of this work, directed the first performance on the occasion of his first visit to the United States in May 1974. Rutter’s Gloria is a favorite work by choruses everywhere, making it a special holiday tradition. On Saturday, January 4 and Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 7:00pm, the Allen Symphony Chorus accompanied by members of the Allen Philharmonic will present Amahl and the Night Visitors at First United Methodist Church located at 601 S. Greenville Avenue in Allen, Texas.
Amahl and the Night Visitors is an opera in one act by Gian- Carlo Menotti. It was commissioned by NBC and first performed by the NBC Opera Theatre on December 24, 1951, as the debut production of the Hallmark Hall of Fame. It was the first opera specifically composed for television in America. In the original Program Notes, the composer wrote, “This is an opera for children because it tries to recapture my own childhood. You see, when I was a child I lived in Italy, and in Italy we have no Santa Claus. I suppose that Santa Claus is much too busy with American children to be able to handle Italian children as well. Our gifts were brought to us by the Three Kings instead.
To these Three Kings I mainly owe the happy Christmas seasons of my childhood and I should have remained very grateful to them. Instead, I came to America and soon forgot all about them, for here at Christmas time one sees so many Santa Clauses scattered all over town. Then there is the big Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza, the elaborate toy windows on Fifth Avenue, the one-hundred-voice choir in Grand Central Station, the innumerable Christmas carols on radio and television—and all these things made me forget the three dear old Kings of my old childhood.
But in 1951 I found myself in serious difficulty. I had been commissioned by the National Broadcasting Company to write an opera for television, with Christmas as deadline, and I simply didn't have one idea in my head. One November afternoon as I was walking rather gloomily through the rooms of the Metropolitan Museum, I chanced to stop in front of the Adoration of the Kings by Hieronymus Bosch, and as I was looking at it, suddenly I heard again, coming from the distant blue hills, the weird song of the Three Kings. I then realized they had come back to me and had brought me a gift.” Gian-Carlo Menotti Since its first performance on Christmas Eve, 1951, Amahl and the Night Visitors has taken its place with A Christmas Carol as a holiday classic. Performed on every continent and in many languages, it has been seen by more people than any other opera in history.
The story tells of the night the Three Kings, following the star to Bethlehem, stopped for shelter at the home of Amahl, a poor, crippled shepherd boy who lives with his widowed mother. Inspired by the Wise Men's tale of a kingdom "built on love alone," Amahl offers his own simple gift to the Christ Child. And then a miracle happens. . . In this warm and compassionate story, Gian Carlo Menotti has captured the essential spirit of Christmas. At its premiere, The New York Times called Amahl "rare art. . . tender and exquisite." Amahl and the Night Visitors is a feast for the eyes and heart, one people of all ages will want to return to again and again.