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Tabernacle Choir announces MC for Christmas concerts

By Genelle Pugmire - | Dec 9, 2022

Courtesy Intellectual Reserve

Sir David Suchet, Britsh stage and film actor, was announced on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022, as Master of Ceremonies for The Tabernacle Choir's Christmas concert which will be held Dec. 15-18, 2022.

Readers may know Sir David Suchet for his numerous acting roles, including the infamous Salieri in “Amadeus” on Broadway. Now, he will add being Master of Ceremonies for the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square’s Christmas concerts to the highlights of his five-decade-long career.

On Friday, the choir announced that Suchet will be joining guest artist Lea Salonga for the traditional Christmas concert performances on Dec. 15-17

“Under the direction of Mack Wilberg, music director of the Choir, and Ryan Murphy, associate music director, these powerhouse talents will ring in the Christmas spirit for audiences this holiday season,” reads a release from the choir.

Tickets for the event have been distributed.

“We are very pleased that the distinguished actor Sir David Suchet will be a part of this year’s Christmas concert as he recounts a moving Christmas story as well as the greatest story ever told, that of the birth of the Christ child,” Wilberg said.

Courtesy Intellectual Reserve

The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square perform during the First Presidency Christmas devotional on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021.

Suchet played the acclaimed detective Hercule Poirot in ITV’s Poirot for 70 episodes over 24 years. Known for his extensive study of the characters he plays, Suchet has received a host of awards and nominations for his decades of work on stage. He has played characters such as Iago in “Othello,” Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice,” Caliban in “The Tempest,” Bolingbroke in “Richard II” and Angelo in “Measure for Measure.”

All were nominated for the Laurence Olivier Best Actor in a Play Awards, the release noted.

Suchet has performed on London’s West End and on Broadway, performing in “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

His time in television includes portrayals of historical, biblical and fictional figures like Cardinal Wolsey in “Henry VIII” and Aaron in “Moses.”

In 2011, Suchet was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, and in 2020, was named a Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire for his services to drama and charity, according to the choir statement.

Courtesy Intellectual Reserve

Award-winning performer Lea Salonga will be featured during the annual Christmas concerts for the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.

The Choir’s 2022 Christmas concerts will feel more like pre-COVID concerts. Although the Conference Center audience capacity for this year’s Christmas concerts has been limited to less than full capacity, due to the construction and congestion around Temple Square, the concert itself will feature all the hallmarks of prior years. This is welcome news after the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 Christmas concerts and closed the 2021 concerts to the public. Despite those challenges, the choir was able to continue its Christmas TV special tradition with a 20-year retrospective program featuring Brian Stokes Mitchell, which was taped in 2020 and aired on PBS and BYUtv last December.

For the live concert in 2021, Broadway star Megan Hilty and actor Neal McDonough joined with the choir, the orchestra and the Bells at Temple Square, along with the Gabriel Trumpet Ensemble for a performance that was taped for airing this year.

The concert, “O Holy Night: Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir Featuring Megan Hilty and Neal McDonough,” will be broadcast on PBS on Tuesday at 6 p.m. local time and again on BYUtv on Dec. 18, at 6 p.m.

A Grammy Award-winning, multiple Emmy Award-winning, all-volunteer choral ensemble, The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is made up of 360 men and women who join their talents to create their trademark, instantly recognizable sound. They are accompanied by the Orchestra at Temple Square, a 150-member symphony orchestra, and the Bells at Temple Square, a 33-member handbell choir, which are also all-volunteer organizations.

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