Posts Tagged Christmas Revels

Reveling in the Renaissance… Elizabethan Style

Reveling in the Renaissance… Elizabethan Style

A Post by Elizabeth A. Fulford, Music Director and Evanne Brown, Assistant Music Director
While most of us have some awareness of the most notorious facts and legends about King Henry VIII (who reigned from 1509 to his death in 1547), few are aware that, in addition to his having six wives and founding the Church of England, Henry Tudor was also a poet, musician, athlete, and scholar. Originally destined, as the second son, for an ecclesiastical career, Henry received the musical training appropriate for a clergyman. An expert singer with a clear tenor voice; a player of lute, flute, recorder, cornett, and virginals; and a composer of sacred and

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The Kovar Family Revelers

The Kovar Family Revelers

Posted by Washington Revels
This past Spring we asked the Revels community to share their favorite memories from the past 35 years in our “Washington Revels at 35” Retrospective. Longtime reveler Dick Kovar reminisced about his own path to the Christmas Revels chorus, and it was such a touching story about the joy of participating in this annual holiday celebration (as an audience members and a cast member) that we had to save it until closer to this year’s show. As we prepare to open this weekend, we hope you enjoy Dick’s look back at 35 years of Revels productions that have meant so much to so many

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Guest Artist Interview: Rock Creek Morris

Guest Artist Interview: Rock Creek Morris

Posted by Washington Revels
People who enjoyed Jim Voorhees’ October blog post learned about the close connection between Morris dancing and Revels — but what is it like to be part of one of Washington’s Morris teams? Since the Rock Creek Morris Women will perform in The Christmas Revels this year, we thought it would be fun to keep the Morris conversation going and learn more about the dance — and the dancers — you will see this December!

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Guest Artist Interview: Piffaro

Guest Artist Interview: Piffaro

Posted by Washington Revels
Piffaro, The Renaissance Band has been delighting Christmas Revels audiences in Washington since 1990. The world-renowned early music ensemble will grace the Lisner stage with its fascinating collection of period wind instruments, and these talented musicians never fail to breathe life into the beautiful music of the Renaissance. Washington Revels’ Music Director Elizabeth Fulford recently had a chance to talk with members of Piffaro about the group’s origins, its work, and its long history with The Christmas Revels. Read on to learn more about Piffaro and the musicians you can see and hear this December!

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The Christmas Revels Journey, Part 1

The Christmas Revels Journey, Part 1

A post by Roberta Gasbarre, Artistic Director
Hello from mid-way through our Elizabethan Revels process (or should I say, “progress”)! This is always my most favorite time of the Fall. Everyone is cast and in rehearsal — Adult, Teen and Children’s Choruses — and all are learning the beautiful, rousing and fun musical pieces we will share with you in December. This is some really exquisite music we are singing, and the chorus already sounds terrific. I think of the music as the “glue” that holds our play together and moves us forward, company and audience experiencing the event in real theatrical time. In our earliest rehearsals, we only sing — no blocking (that is, giving stage direction) until we’ve devoted almost a month to focusing on the notes, the words and the harmonies of these songs.

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Caper Like a Wild Morisco: Morris Dancing and Revels

Caper Like a Wild Morisco: Morris Dancing and Revels

A guest post by Jim Voorhees, Morris Dancer
Jack Langstaff and Mary Swope walked toward us across the National Mall. It was a beautiful, sunny Spring day in 1983. The Foggy Bottom Morris Men were dancing in front of the Castle, near the carousel. Jack and Mary watched carefully. We talked. They needed a Morris team for a show they were doing in Lisner Auditorium that December. Would we be interested? Jack and Mary saw us do dances from villages in the Cotswolds, near Oxford. Like most Cotswolds teams, we wore bells, waved handkerchiefs, and clashed sticks.

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Revisiting an Article by Mary Swope

Revisiting an Article by Mary Swope

Posted by Washington Revels
For October’s Directors’ Blog installment, we’re winding back the clock to 1997 for this article by founder and former Producer Mary Swope, all about that year’s medieval Christmas Revels. While much has changed in the intervening 21 years, many important elements remain the same — not just the people involved, but also the spirit behind this joyous production that continues to resonate with Washington audiences years later. Enjoy this look back, as we continue to move forward towards this year’s Elizabethan Revels!

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Making the Sausage: just what goes into a Christmas Revels?

Making the Sausage: just what goes into a Christmas Revels?

A post by Colin K. Bills, Production Manager
The title of this post could easily refer to a prop we’ve got in mind for this year’s production. Indeed, our selection of fake meats — from the Boar’s Head that will once again make an appearance in 2018 to the côtelette de veau bien rôtie sans os produced last year as one of our foods in les Parties de Grégoire — is mouthwateringly delectable. That is, unless one is a vegetarian or allergic to painted Styrofoam.

However, the sausage here is of the metaphoric sort. Those who have been on or backstage in a Christmas Revels can surely appreciate the time, effort, sweat (and alas, sometimes tears) that are required of the hundreds of folks who contribute to this epic performance. And while effort is surely required, time is our most valuable commodity. Members of the chorus know that auditions for Christmas occur in late May. That’s nearly seven months before the show! That should be enough time to put this thing together, right?

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Marking the Shortest Day of the Year

Marking the Shortest Day of the Year

A reprint of “The Shortest Day” by Patrick Swanson (Artistic Director, Revels, Inc.)
In our own time the Winter Solstice is indissolubly linked with the festival of Christmas, though it was not always so. The myths of the festival are so deeply embedded within us that we no longer ask why we bring an evergreen into the house or decorate with candles or hang mistletoe. We take these things for granted as we plunge into the hectic preparations for Christmas and the New Year. Overall there is a heightened sense of something significant happening at a fixed point on the calendar. For some it is Christmas night, for others it is watching the ball drop in Times Square. The commercial frenzy of gift buying is fueled by references to holly and stars and carols and the streets are illuminated by strings of twinkling lights. Sometimes the blurring of images can distort the meaning of the event that is being celebrated.

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Teen Auditions – September 10

Teen auditions for The Christmas Revels–featuring music, dance, and drama from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden–take place on Saturday, September 10 (late afternoon/evening). The Washington Revels community reflects our larger community; we therefore seek to create a diverse cast consisting of strong performers of all backgrounds and ancestries. Ability to read music helpful but not required.

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Address

Washington Revels, Inc.
531 Dale Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Map, Directions and Parking
301-587-3835 (voice)
888-587-9050 (fax)

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