The last time Edmonton Opera performed in a theatre was in March 2020, days before the pandemic forced its doors to close. Over the last two years, Edmonton Opera staged small-scale outdoor concerts and a handful of popular drive-in shows, but now the spotlight is back on for the Home for Christmas concert.
“It is really exciting to be inside the Jubilee Auditorium,” says Cosette Justo Valdés, music director and co-host of the Home for Christmas concert. “It’s exciting for the audience who are big supporters of the opera to be able to celebrate Christmas together.”
Valdés, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra’s assistant conductor, is co-hosting the Home for Christmas concert with Joel Ivany, Edmonton Opera’s recently appointed artistic director. The program stars soprano Miriam Khalil and baritone Andrew MacDonald-Smith, and features over a dozen holiday favourites including It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, The Little Drummer Boy and White Christmas.
The lineup even includes a few Cuban carols like “Quizás, quizás, quizás,” which Valdés is excited to play for the audience as she lived in Cuba for 29 years.
“This is my first Christmas in Canada and I’m enjoying playing the classical program, and I also love that I am able to incorporate some Cuban songs,” says Valdés.
Edmonton Opera’s Home for Christmas concert is on December 22 at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium starting at 7 p.m. Tickets for adults are $25 and tickets for children under the age of 12 are $10. Seating is general admission with physical distancing between groups.