Audiences will experience the true magic of the holiday season with Philadelphia’s most treasured musical tradition, The Philly POPS Christmas Spectacular, returning to Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center from December 4 to 22, 2015. Because of the great popularity of the concerts, a 10th date was added to the concert schedule this year. Returning by popular demand for his third year is internationally celebrated Philadelphia-raised conductor David Charles Abell. As The POPS’ exceptional musicians present beloved seasonal tunes in exciting arrangements, each concert also features three spectacular choirs and the ever-popular audience sing-along in a rousing program guaranteed to please audience members of all ages. For 2015, The POPS’ guest vocalist is Lisa Vroman, who is renowned for her role as Christine in Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera.
The 2015 Christmas Spectacular concert series premieres on Friday, December 4th, with an invitation-only event called I’ll Be Home for Christmas — A Salute to the Military and First Responders. With the support of dedicated sponsors, The POPS will provide 2,000 complimentary tickets to members of the military through the Liberty USO and to members of the Philadelphia Police and Fire Departments. This concert is part of The Philly POPS Salute Series, which celebrates American traditions, most particularly the tradition of service, with deep gratitude for those individuals who serve Philadelphia and the nation all year long.
The series continues on the following dates:
Sat., Dec. 5 — 3 pm
Sun., Dec. 6 — 3 pm
Wed., Dec. 9 — 8 pm
Sat., Dec. 12 — 3 pm
Wed., Dec. 16 — 8 pm
Fri., Dec. 18 — 3 pm
Sat., Dec. 19 — 3 pm
Sun., Dec. 20 — 7 pm
Tues., Dec. 22 — 8 pm
The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is located at 300 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19102. Tickets may be purchased in person through the Kimmel Center Box Office, online through phillypops.org, or by phone at 215.893.1999.
This year’s talent lineup includes:
David Charles Abell
Brought up in Philadelphia but a resident of London since 1996, conductor David Charles Abell enjoys a wide-ranging career. Best-known for the Les Misérables 10th and 25th Anniversary concerts broadcast on television worldwide, he also works in the fields of symphonic music and opera. His orchestral engagements include the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Wiener Symphoniker, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Iceland Symphony, West Australian Symphony, and Atlanta and Cincinnati Symphonies.
Since last year’s appearance with The Philly POPS, David has conducted the Pulitzer Prize-winning World War I opera Silent Night at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Sweeney Todd with Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel at English National Opera, Fiddler on the Roof, again with Terfel, at Grange Park Opera and the BBC Proms, plus concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.
Upcoming projects include two productions of his own critical edition of Kiss Me, Kate (Opera North and the Théâtre du Châtelet) and concerts with the London Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lille, and Orchestre Pasdeloup.
From Broadway to classics, on stage and in concert, Lisa Vroman has established herself as one of America’s most versatile voices. She has been regarded as a “musical and theatrical marvel” by The San Francisco Chronicle, as well as “one of American Musical Theater’s most beautiful voices” by acclaimed Broadway producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh. Among her extensive repertoire, Ms. Vroman starred on Broadway, in San Francisco, and Los Angeles as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera. Ms. Vroman is a regular guest artist with symphonies including San Francisco, Cleveland, Hong Kong, Philadelphia, Seattle, Atlanta, Detroit, as well as the Boston Pops, The Philly POPS, and New York Pops.
Peter Richard Conte
Philadelphia’s beloved organist Peter Richard Conte, well-known for his performances on the historic Wanamaker Grand Court Organ, will showcase the amazing expressive ability of the massive pipe organ built into Verizon Hall. He is highly regarded as a skillful performer and arranger of organ transcriptions. He has been featured several times on National Public Radio and on ABC television’s “Good Morning America” and “World News Tonight.” He has two radio shows: “The Wanamaker Organ Hour”, which airs on WRTI-FM and can be heard via the Internet at WRTI.ORG; and his Grand Court concert is streamed live on YesterdayUSA.com on each Wednesday evening at 7 pm.
- The world-renowned Philadelphia Boys Choir always brings added joy to these concerts.
- The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, an ensemble from the historic congregation in West Philadelphia, returns with rousing arrangements of praise music.
- The Philly POPS Festival Chorus — over 100 voices of the best amateur singers chosen by audition — has an honored place in the program, joining the orchestra in spectacular arrangements of carols the audience loves to hear.
- The final “choral group” is the audience itself! POPS guests look forward to the annual invitation to sing along during a seven-minute set, with the lyrics to all of the tunes printed in the program.
Tickets are on sale now for the entire 2014-2015 Philly POPS season. Performances take place in Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts at 300 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19102. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Kimmel Center Box Office, online here, or by phone at 215.893.1999.