This year, the unwritten theme of JoAnn’s Classical Christmas is stay home all ye faithful and we’ll come to you. The show begins via livestream from Kleinhans on December 15 at 7 p.m. and features the stars of the orchestra as well as a local talent, tenor Kyle van Schoonhoven.
Sometimes called “the American Puccini,” Gian Carlo Minotti wrote more than twenty operas, but it’s doubtful that, when he was commissioned by NBC in 1951 to write America’s first opera for television, Amahl and the Night Visitors, he could have envisioned its music becoming a staple of holiday programs for decades to come. Now, his story of the boy Amahl, Amahl’s mother, and the visit of the three kings Balthazar, Kaspar, and Melchior is a Christmas classic. Selections from Amahl and the Night Visitors are once again being performed by the BPO as part of its Classical Christmas program.
Music of the Baroque era makes another BPO appearance with a performance of Antonio Lucio Vivaldi’s “Winter” from The Four Seasons, a three-part concerto in F minor and E flat major. Ottorino Respighi composed his Trittico Botticelliano, music inspired by three Botticelli pictures, in 1927. The orchestra performs the second movement of this work, “Adoration of the Magi,” in this program. Other selections include “Fantasia on Greensleeves” by Vaughan-Williams. The concert also features BPO versatile clarinetist and saxophonist Sal Andolina performing a jazz-inflected selection of happy holiday chestnuts.
Concerts this month continue to be available through BPOnDemand, the video-streamed series, broadcast on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. and accessible for up to thirty days after each performance. For more information visit bpo.org.
Finally, some notes on other local classical organizations. Next year, the annual Buffalo Chamber Music Society series runs from January through May 2021 with seven Tuesday evening concerts and three Gift to the Community concerts. The Buffalo Chamber Players perform a holiday concert streaming live from Asbury Hall on December 9, which features an audience participation component through the livestream chat feature. All concerts are available for a week after the virtual performance. More information is available at buffalochamberplayers.org.