Tickets are already almost sold out for Christmas With The Marionettes, which plays at the Queen’s Hall from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th December, 2010. And if you have ever attended the Marionettes’ holiday concerts, you’ll understand why our devoted patrons always say: “Christmas begins with the Marionettes!” Amid troubling times in our nation’s development, the Marionettes invites the national community to celebrate the true meaning of this festive season, with gratitude, humanity and hope for redemption.
This concert series comes after a year of fundraising and charity work for the Marionettes. Last July, the choir toured Trinidad, partnering with local NGOs to raise funds for a variety of causes. Indeed, in just the last five years, the Marionettes has raised nearly TT$1 million for support for the victims of domestic violence, hurricane relief efforts, cancer treatment and prevention, mentoring programmes for at-risk youth, and care for the terminally ill.
In this spirit, the Marionettes once again will host a fundraising opening night Gala in aid of the Robert Riley Foundation. This new non-profit organisation – named for bpTT CEO Robert Riley who begins his new post as the BP Group’s Head of Safety & Operational Risk, Competency & Capability Development in London next year – is dedicated to reducing juvenile delinquency among at-risk boys and young men, and intervening and rehabilitating troubled youths. Additionally, the Marionettes and bpTT will host a special free matinée on Saturday 4th December for senior citizens and children from various institutions across the island.
The Chorale also celebrates cherished milestones in their own family: the 15th anniversary of the Youth Chorale, now comprising young people from over 35 national schools; and 40 years of sponsorship by bpTT for the Marionettes’ sister organisation, the Renegades Steel Orchestra. The choir also joins with the international artistic community in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the hit musical, Les Misérables and the 80th birthday of renowned lyricist and composer, Stephen Sondheim.
As always, Christmas with the Marionettes audiences will be treated to the group’s usual versatility, featuring a programme of classical, spiritual, gospel and local parang music around a Yuletide theme. Patrons can look forward to performances from their favourite Marionettes soloists: Jacqueline Johnson, Kendall Reid, Leah Lewis, Stephan Hernandez, Debbie Nahous, Patrice Quammie, Garfield Washington, Danielle Williams, and many more! The concert will also feature the male choir as you have never seen them before, and a guest conductor from within the Marionettes’ membership.
Christmas with the Marionettes concert opens on Thursday 2nd December with the fundraising charity gala for the Robert Riley Foundation. The rest of the concert series runs Friday 3rd December through Sunday 5th December. Tickets are $250 for the charity gala, and $200 (reserved) and $150 (open plan) for the rest of the run, and are available at the Queen’s Hall Box Office (tel: 624-1284), from members of the Chorale, and online at https://www.CaribbeanBoxOffice.net.
The Chorale’s two holiday CDs – A Christmas Album (which features earlier collaborations with the Renegades) and Sing Noel – will also be on sale during the concert, and the full albums and individual tracks are available online at iTunes, CDBaby.com and TrinidadTunes.com. All proceeds go toward the Marionettes Property Fund, for the construction of the group’s own rehearasal and performance space.