Renowned soprano, actor join Mormon Tabernacle Choir for the holidays

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This holiday season, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s annual Christmas concerts will have two very special guests — soprano Deborah Voigt and actor John Rhys-Davies.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's 2012 Christmas concert. Just like last year, 2013's concert is expected to be well-attended. (Photo courtesy of the Mormon Newsroom.)
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s 2012 Christmas concert. Just like last year, 2013’s concert is expected to be well-attended. (Photo courtesy of the Mormon Newsroom.)

“The choir considers a number of factors when deciding who to invite as guest artists,” said Scott Barrick, general manager of the Tabernacle Choir. “We like to vary the program back and forth for the audience.”

This year, concertgoers can expect a Christmas program featuring the full talents of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir along with the Orchestra at Temple Square, the aforementioned guest performers and more.

“The concert tells a wonderful story that will work cohesively together and is complemented by dancing, scenery and great artistry,” Barrick said.

The Tabernacle Choir’s annual Christmas concerts have been taking place for more than a decade and features exceptional performers. This year’s performance has already proven incredibly popular, with most tickets having been distributed in October. According to music director Mack Wilberg, this year is no exception when it comes to popularity.

“We are overwhelmed and humbled by the response of our audiences each year,” Wilberg said.

The amount of work and planning that went into simply securing this year’s guest performers may not be easily seen. According to Barrick, securing these performers has been in the works for a few years.

“We actually made arrangements with (Voigt) several years ago to perform in this year’s concert,” Barrick said. “We contacted (Rhys-Davies) last summer to see if he had an interest in this acting opportunity. He did, and the rest is history.”

Voigt is recognized as one of the world’s most versatile singers, having served as leading dramatic soprano in the operas of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. She recently performed as Brünnhilde in the PBS series “Great Performances from the Metin Wagner’s Ring cycle. Rhys-Davies is most known for his roles as dwarf Gimli in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and Arab excavator Sallah in the “Indiana Jones” films.

“This is going to be an unforgettable concert,” said Ron Jarrett, president of the Tabernacle Choir. “The talents of Deborah Voigt and John Rhys-Davies will fill our hearts with the Christmas spirit that will linger with us all season long.”

Performances will take place Dec. 13, 14 and 15 at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Guest performers will join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir both for “Music and the Spoken Wordand a mini-concert Sunday, Dec. 15. Due to increased holiday traffic, guests are asked to arrive at least 30 minutes before the performance.

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