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Christmas Around the World

December 14 @ 7:30 pm - December 15 @ 2:30 pm

This year the MSO celebrates the holidays with “Christmas Around the World.” Baritone Ricardo Jose Rivera joins the orchestra on a global musical journey, featuring beloved carols and festive favorites from nearly a dozen countries. From the timeless melodies of Europe to the rhythmic beats of Latin America and beyond, this concert bridges cultures and traditions, uniting hearts in the warmth and goodwill of the season.

The program features beloved favorites alongside lesser-known gems, offering a diverse tapestry of musical traditions and celebrations. In addition to all your favorite carols, we’ll play Italy’s number one Christmas song, “Tu scendi dalle stelle” (“You descended from the stars”), the Spanish Christmas classic “Los peces en el río” (“The fish in the river”), the beloved French carol “Il est né le divin enfant” (“He is born, the divine infant”) — plus the original versions of carols that we may know only in English: O Holy Night (“Cantique de Noël“), Silent Night (“Stille Nacht“), “The Infant Jesus” (“Gesù Bambino“), and of course “O Tannenbaum“. Join us for an evening of heartwarming melodies and seasonal cheer, as we come together to honor the spirit of Christmas with music that resonates across borders and generations.


Scott Speck, conductor
Ricardo Rivera, baritone



Bruce Chase: Around the World at Christmastime

Vaughn Williams: Fantasia on Greensleeves

Émile Waldteufel: Les Patineurs

Il est ne le divin enfant

Petit Papa Noel

Adolphe Adam: O Holy Night

Tu Scendi Dalle stelle

Pietro Yon: Gesu Bambino

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Christmas Eve Suite: Polonaise

Mykola Leontovich/Peter Wilhousky: arr. Richard Hayman: Ukrainian Christmas Carol

Los Peces en el rio

Amaury Verray: Villancico Yaucano

Lucas Richman: Christmas Sing Along

Arr. Johnie Dean: O Tannenbaum in F

Silent Night in F

Johann Strauss Jr.: Fledermaus Overture

Johann Strauss Jr.: On the Beautiful Blue Danube

Johann Strauss Sr.: Radetzky March

Arr. Tiomkin: It’s a Wonderful Life Suite, Auld Lang Syne



“Here’s a peek behind the curtain of a professional symphony: Every year, almost all orchestras perform a holiday concert. And their challenge is to make the program different enough from one season to the next. After all, the number of well-known Christmas carols and songs is quite limited — perhaps a couple dozen. And the wintry-themed works by well-known classical composers number a couple of dozen more. How to introduce variety into a program of such limited repertoire? 

Well, it turns out the repertoire isn’t really that limited — you just need to know where to look. This year our holiday concert takes us all around the world. Did you know, for example, that the number one Christmas song in Italy is “Tu scendi dalle stelle” (“You descended from the stars”)? Or that one of the biggest holiday hits in Spanish-speaking lands is “Los peces en el río” (“The fish in the river”)? Or that in Puerto Rico, no Christmas is complete without “Villancico Yaucano” (“Puerto Rican Carol”)? Or that in French, one of the most beloved Christmas tunes is “Il est né le divin enfant” (“He is born, the divine infant”)? We’ll play all of these, plus the original versions of many familiar carols that we may know only in English: O Holy Night (“Cantique de Noël”), Silent Night (“Stille Nacht”), “The Infant Jesus” (“Gesù Bambino”), and of course “O Tannenbaum.” 

Joining us for this delightful survey of international hits is Ricardo José Rivera, the Puerto Rican baritone who was a sensation on his first visit three years ago. His warm, rich voice is the perfect vehicle for these beautiful songs from all over. And besides, he’s quite the polyglot — making our renditions all the more enchanting.” – Scott Speck

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December 14 @ 7:30 pm
December 15 @ 2:30 pm


Saenger Theatre
6 South Joachim Street
Mobile, AL 36602 United States
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Mobile Symphony