Holiday Events: Dec. 7-17

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Rare chance to see ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’ coming to Portland

The Williston-Immanuel United Church on High Street presents a rare Portland performance of the long-time holiday favorite opera, “Amahl and the Night Visitors” on Friday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 10 at 4 p.m. The opera is directed and produced by Kathleen Scott, and will include several professional soloists and an orchestra, in addition to choristers from the community and church.

“‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’ is a magical story with a universal appeal,” said Scott. 

Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for youth ages 13-18, $5 for children 6-12, children under 6 are free. Tickets are available online at Purplepass.com/Amahl16, or at the door on the day of the performance; for more information, call 775-2301. Seating is general admission and advance purchase is recommended.

“The best news for parents and grandparents, is that the show is extremely family friendly as seen through the eyes of a young boy,” said Scott. “The story is very entertaining. How can you go wrong with an eccentric, funny old king, processions, dancing and a miracle to top it all off?”

Written for TV and aired on Christmas Eve in 1951, “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” by Gian Carlo Menotti, is a retelling of the story of the Magi as seen by a poor young shepherd boy named Amahl, who is disabled. He and his widowed mother have lost everything and will have to beg for their bread. Amahl has a fanciful imagination, so when he tells his mother about seeing a giant star with a tail of fire, naturally she doesn’t believe him. Later that night, they are awakened by three kings seeking shelter during their trek to follow the star. The kings bring beautiful treasures and gifts to give to the child they seek. When everyone’s asleep, the desperate mother tries to steal some of the kings’ gold. What happens next is a gift far greater than gold.

Raising their Renaissance voices

“Christmas with Renaissance Voices” will be presented Saturday, Dec.17, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 18, at 2 p.m. The beautiful and resonant Cathedral of St. Luke (143 State St. between Congress and Spring streets) will again be the setting for both performances. According to Harold Stover, director of the 20-voice a cappella ensemble, the choir will sing works from their namesake period by Sweelinck, Adrian Batten, Johannes Eccard, Girolamo Baglioni, among others. Their commitment to more contemporary music and works by women will be represented by Hugo Distler, Kathryn Rose and Crys Armbrust. Carols and seasonal readings will round out the program. The ensemble has been performing since 1994, and has sung live on Maine Public Radio. The Journal Tribune’s Morton Gold said, “They sing as one person, their intonation is as constant as their rhythm is good. It is all marvelously musical.” Stover, internationally known organist and distinguished composer, has led the group since 2001.

Admission is $15 at the door. Discount tickets, at $12, can be purchased through 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 16 (by cash or check only,) at Starbird Music and Longfellow Books in Portland and at The Book Review in Falmouth, or online at renaissancevoices.net. Admission for students is $5 (at the door only) with a valid student ID. The audience is invited to a reception after the concerts. 

Celebrate the season with a historic trip back in time

Stroudwater’s historic Tate House Museum is hosting a Colonial Christmas Open House noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 11. Come and see how an affluent mast agent’s family may have celebrated the holidays in the 18th century.

Docents donned in period attire will greet visitors as they make their way from room to room in the 1755 home of Capt. George Tate and his wife Mary. They will explain the prevailing traditions and customs of the time, including, why the Tates celebrated Christmas while many of their neighbors did not; how decorations differed from those of today; and the types of food and drink  served. Visitors should be prepared to be delighted by a very special surprise or two along the way, as well. Delectable sweet and savory treats will also be served across the street at the Means House. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children under 12.

Three is lucky number for Topsham Library

The Topsham Public Library is extremely lucky this holiday season — Santa will visit not once, but three times this month. On Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 10 a.m., there will be a special story time with Miss Mariah, where kids of all ages can meet Santa and have a tasty holiday treat. Don’t forget to bring a camera!

On Thursday, Dec. 15 from 6-7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 17 from 1:30-2:30 p.m., the library will be hosting Santa Reads, when Old Saint Nick will be at the library to read to children in kindergarten through fifth grade, and to give out award-winning children’s books. Stop by and hear a story with Santa (and maybe even read a story TO him) and get a book to bring home.

The Topsham Public Library is located at 25 Foreside Road. For more information, call Topsham Public Library at 725-1727 or visit the library website, www.topshamlibrary.org.

Kids can wrap it up at PPL

Kids are invited to make their own wrapping paper at the Portland Public Library from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 in the Sam L. Cohen Children’s Library. The library is located at 5 Monument Square. Participants will use sponge printing, with an assortment of fun holiday shapes and tempera paints to create their own sheets of wrapping paper. Although tempera paint is washable, participants should wear clothing they don’t mind getting a little messy. The program is free and open to children 12 or younger.

Calendar

Collections & Donations

Toys for Tots: bring a new unwrapped toy to ReVision Energy at Scratch Baking Company 7 a.m.- 6 p.m. Dec. 10 and 7 a.m.- noon Dec. 11 and receive a free cup of solar-heated coffee.  

Galleries

‘Holiday Offerings,” Richard Boyd Art Gallery, 15 Epps St., Peaks Island, annual exhibit by gallery artists. Open 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Friday-Sunday through Jan. 29.

Holiday Fairs

Festival of Greens, Dec. 9, noon to 8 p.m.; Dec. 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Dec. 11, noon-4 p.m., hosted by Bath Garden Club at Winter Street Center, 880 Washington St. Wreaths, swags, arrangements, ornaments, vintage items, refreshments. 

Saturday 12/10

Christmas Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Bath Area Senior Citizens Activity Center, 45 Floral St. Crafts, greens, silent auction, food by Senior Citizens Cooks, raffle. 

Music/Theater

“It’s a Wonderful Life,” Chocolate Church Arts Center, 804 Washington St., Bath. Dec. 15-17 at 7 p.m.; 2 p.m. Dec. 17-18.  Tickets $12/advance, $15/door,  www.chocolatechurcharts.org or by calling the box office 207-442-8455.

“The Snowy Day and Other Holiday Tales,” collection of seasonal scenes and songs by The Theater Project, 14 School St., Brunswick. Dec. 16-18; Friday/Saturday 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m., pay-what-you-want, 729-8584, theaterproject.com.

“And The Glory Shone Around: Original and Modern Settings of Early American Hymns, Spirituals and Carols,” by Greater Freeport Community Chorus, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, Universalist Unitarian Church of Brunswick, 1 Middle St.; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, 396 Gilman Road, Yarmouth. Tickets $10 at the door, free for under 18, www.gfccsings.org.

“Amahl and the Night Visitors,” holiday opera, Friday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 10 at 4 p.m., The Williston-Immanuel United Church on High Street, Portland. Includes several professional soloists and an orchestra. Tickets $5-$10 at www.Purplepass.com/Amahl16, or at the door. Children under 6 free. 

Wednesday 12/7

“WinterNight,” acoustical evening of music to herald the winter holidays, 6:30 p.m., Patten Free Library, Bath, 443-5141.

Friday 12/9

Rockin’ Holiday Concerts, 7:30 p.m., with Rock My Soul, 25-member secular choir that specializes in roots-based gospel, and The RMS Five, five-member vocal ensemble that sings roots, Americana, and gospel, One Longfellow Square, Portland.

Saturday 12/10

CÒIG Celtic Christmas concert, 7:30 p.m., Chocolate Church Arts Center, 804 Washington St., Bath. Tickets are $22/advance, $25/door and available at www.chocolatechurcharts.org or the box office, 442-8455. 

Sunday 12/11

“Emmanuel, God With Us,” Advent Vespers, 5:30 p.m., First Congregational Church UCC, 301 Cottage Road, South Portland.

Tuesday 12/13

“A Christmas Concert” by the Coastal Winds, greater Freeport’s 45-member community concert band, 6:30 p.m., Harraseeket Inn, 162 Main St., Freeport. Hors d’oeuvres and cash bar available. Suggested admission is a nonperishable item for Freeport Community Services Food Pantry or cash donation for Freeport’s fuel assistance program. For more, call 865-4747.

Wednesday 12/14

Candlelight Carol Sing and Service, 7 p.m., hosted by West Bath Historical Society at Old West Bath Meeting House, 680 Berry’s Mill Road. All welcome, 443-5907.

Winter Concert at Portland High School, 7 p.m., in the John Ford Auditorium, orchestra and jazz band will perform. Open to all, 874-8250.

Thursday 12/15

Choral Christmas Show, 6:30 p.m., sing carols with the choir at Tuttle Road Methodist Church, 52 Tuttle Road., Cumberland. Handicapped accessible, 829- 3766.

 Saturday  12/17 

“Sweet Sounds of the Season,” 6:30 p.m., Brunswick United Methodist Church, corner of Raymond and Church roads, sweet treats and holiday music in a variety of styles and genre. Suggested donation $10, 725-2185.

“A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” 1 p.m., Mechanics’ Hall, 519 Congress St., Portland. Reading by Abraham Schechter, librarian and archivist at Portland Public Library who will also share photos of Wales, followed by refreshments. All welcome.

Sunday 12/18

“A Wescustago Winter,” Wescustago Youth Chorale’s 19th annual concert, 3 p.m., Freeport Performing Arts Center. Tickets, $10/adult, $5/ students and seniors at the door, wescustago.wordpress.com.

Tuesday 12/20 

“Kotzschmar Christmas with Cornils,” 7:30 p.m., annual celebration with the King of Instruments and Portland’s Municipal Organist Ray Cornils, joined by ensembles, hand bell choir and Kotzschmar Festival Brass. Tickets $23-$41 at PortTIX, 20 Myrtle St., Portland, 842-0800.

Wednesday 12/21

“Wales and Tales,” a celebration of the holiday season with Al Miller, presented by The Theater Project, 7 p.m. 14 School St., Brunswick. Pay-what-you-want, 729-8584, www.theaterproject.com.

Morning with Friends Christmas Carols, 10:30 a.m., Tuttle Road Methodist Church, 52 Tuttle Road, Cumberland. Handicapped accessible, 829- 3766.

Festive Fun

The Candy Cane Train, 75-minute trips from Brunswick Station/Visitor Center to Portland and back Dec. 10 & 11 at 8:30 a.m. & 3:30 p.m. Santa & Mrs. Claus, model trains, refreshments, story reader and Nor’Easters Barbershop Chorus. Tickets $20 at candycanetrain.org or Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006. Proceeds benefit Tri-County Literacy.

“Magical Evenings with Santa,” Dec. 8, 15 & 22, 5-7:30 p.m., after-hours event at Maine Maritime Museum, 243 Washington St., Bath, includes a visit with Santa and a tour of Captain Christmas’ Magical Boatshop. Adults $5; ages 6 to 12 $3; under 6 free, 443-1316, MaineMaritimeMuseum.org.

The Polar Express Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad, 58 Fore St., Portland. Tickets $29-45, reserve through PortTix at www.porttix.com, 842-0800, open through Christmas Eve.

Saturday 12/10

Jolly Family Jamboree, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., explore the Maine Maritime Museum, 243 Washington St., Bath, at a reduced rate, with holiday-themed crafts, activities, a visit from Santa, and Captain Christmas’ Magical Boatshop, 443-1316, MaineMaritimeMuseum.org.

“The Grinch,” by Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers, 10:30 a.m. & 1 p.m., Maine Maritime Museum, 243 Washington St., Bath. For details or to purchase tickets, call 443-1316 or visit www.MaineMaritimeMuseum.org.

“The Polar Express: a Read Aloud with Conductor Jim Nawrocki,” 10:30 a.m., Sam L. Cohen Children’s Library at Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Square. 

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