The 31st Annual Christmas Revels:
A Revels Christmas In Wales
Each mid-winter, the Revels brings to life a grand celebration of traditions and cultures from around the world. We create joy with the songs, dances, and stories—present in every culture—that mark the turning of the year in all its forms. We build community and connection through our unique theatrical production, connecting audience and performers, and reminding us that, within our diversity and across generations, there is a beautiful continuity of human experience!
This year, the California Revels is “coming home” to Wales. Even though we've never been there before, there is much about Welsh culture and customs that feels familiar and comforting. Set in the 1920's childhood village of the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, our show will evoke the spirit of family gathered ‘round the hearth, and villagers singing in the glow of the blazing yule log.
Of course, we'll venture from the warmth of the parlor for adventures out and about in the chill winter night as we follow mummers and carolers from house to house through the village. As we do, we will encounter the rich tapestry of characters that make the Welsh people so famously colorful. The children of the village are central to our visit as they embrace and reflect the traditions of old in their games, songs and dances. And, speaking of dances, it wouldn't be a trip to Wales without energetic clogging, graceful couples dances, and a fierce dose of Border Morris.
There will surely be mummers, and a bit of Welsh Bardic storytelling—the Welsh, of course, are a nation of poets—and harps, pipes and fiddles. We even expect a visit from a dark and mysterious ghost horse, the Mari Lwyd. As you may expect, all of this tuneful excitement comes studded with the Revels touchstones including The Abbots Bromley Antler Dance, Sussex Mummers' Carol, and The Lord of the Dance. And one thing more… there will be dragons!
Featured performers this year include Robert Sicular, Kevin Carr, Susan Rode Morris, James Galileo and Margaret Davis.
Join us at the breathtaking Scottish Rite Theater on Lake Merritt in Oakland, and fill your holiday season with celebration and joy!
The 31st Annual Christmas Revels
A Revels Christmas in Wales
December 9-11 & 16-18, 2016
Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays & Sundays 1pm & 5pm
Tickets priced $20-$60 with significant discounts for patrons under 25 and students of any age
Scottish Rite Theater
1547 Lakeside Dr, Oakland CA 94612
Running time 145 minutes with intermission.
No ticket sales at the theater except on performance dates.
Masters of Music
Fred has been the Musical Director for California Revels continuously since the late '80's. He brings to bear his extensive knowledge of composers and composition in researching and arranging music for the Revels choruses and the Brass ensemble as well. Fred also participates in production as a lead singer in the Adult chorus, frequently performing solos and in small ensembles. This year he will again assume his role as audience leader. teaching and leading Sing We Now, as well as the customary Dona Nobis Pacem and Sussex Mummers' Carol.
Shira is a noted violin and vielle player and leads a number of small early music ensembles. She is very much in demand as a performer and teacher and is constantly flying around the country and the world, doing concerts and workshops. As often happens, she is once again providing original compositions for this year's Christmas Revels. We are very excited about her setting of The Weaver and the Factory Maid. It will be the musical context for the dance in which the Ladies of the Chorus and the Young Performers join together. We are also revisiting her choral setting of the lovely Manx Lullaby. Shira performs in the show, and will be joining Kevin Carr in playing a duet of Crwths.
The Revels Chorus
Every year, California Revels puts together a chorus totaling up to 65 singers. For many chorus members, participating in Revels is the highlight of the holiday season, bringing them together in community, transporting them to another time, giving them comfort in the darkest days of the year. And, it’s a lot of fun!
Many of the Young Performers have appeared previously in the Christmas Revels children's chorus and many of them will pass into the ranks of the adult chorus, often after a time away for college. The talent and performing energy that our youngsters add to the stage is undeniable. Their participation broadens the scope of what we can do and adds yet one more ingredient to the wonderful stew that is a Revels performance.
Maintaining school work and setting aside sports and other activities can be a challenge, but the artistic and social development of children in the Revels chorus is extremely rewarding. Several members of the adult chorus can point to the children's chorus as their first experience of Revels, and the start of their performing career.
Parking near the Scottish Rite Theater
Special Event Parking is available to Revelers at the ALCO Park Garage located at 1220 Jackson Street at 13th Street; just 3 blocks from the theater. The rate is $5 per vehicle and no reservations are required.
Parking in the lot behind the theater is extremely limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. There will be no special reservations or parking passes sold for the parking lot this year.