Ars Choralis will present the new opera, Miracle in Bethlehem, for its annual “Welcome Yule” concert on Dec. 7th and 8th at the Overlook Methodist Church in Woodstock. The opera is composed by Ars Choralis Artistic Director, Barbara Pickhardt with lyrics by Johanna Hall.

The two-act opera features 40 choir members, 13 soloists and an instrumental ensemble that includes piano, cello, violin, horns and flutes and – as one might guess from the title – tells the story of the nativity.

Johanna Hall’s songwriting career began in 1970 and her songs have been recorded by Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, The Doobie Brothers – and many others. She joins us to talk about Miracle in Bethlehem.

 In Patrick Barlow’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol - five actors portray over 20 characters.

The story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his ghostly visitations is re-imagined with a fresh new physicality, the highly theatrical, sometimes comic, ultimately moving adaptation is sure to brighten up your holidays!

The show is currently running at Capital Repertory Theater in Albany, NY and stars our friend, Kevin McGuire as “Mr. Bah-Humbug” himself, Ebenezer Scrooge.

Break out the latkes, turducken and HE’BREW Beer, it’s time to celebrate Chanukah – which begins on Wednesday and Thanksgiving on Thursday. We do so this morning with the assistance of Shmaltz Brewing Company in Clifton Park. Overlapping for only the second time since President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a federal holiday — the last time it occurred was in 1888 — these two holidays are renowned for enjoying delicious foods and libations.

Shmaltz has a brand new 20,000 square feet brewery in Upstate New York. Their 4th Annual HE’BREW Holiday Gift Pack includes a chance to make a beer menorah. Paul McErlean is the Head Brewer at Shmaltz Brewing Company and joins us this morning with suggestions on how to celebrate this Chanukah/Thanksgiving hybrid holiday.

Listener Essay - A Thanksgiving Paradox

Nov 25, 2013

  Kate Cohen is a writer and editor in Albany, New York.

What was the best or worst holiday gift you received this season?

This conversation will continue on Vox Pop at 2pm today.

Sal Lizard was in his twenties when his beard and hair turned completely white. Today he appears everywhere from malls and parades to schools and hospitals. And— from his custom-made red velvet suits to the mistletoe that hangs from the rearview mirror in his Santa-mobile—he is Santa Claus three hundred and sixty-five days a year.

Jeanne Sauvage has devoted herself to investigating and developing new gluten-free recipes. She imparts her knowledge to all in the book: Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays: 60 Recipes for Traditional Festive Treats.

Albany Pro Musica will present its annual holiday concert, “A Winter Wonderland,” this weekend at the Carondelet Hospitality Center in Latham.

Albany Pro Musica is a mixed chorus that brings a pleasing and robust texture to familiar holiday songs and classic repertoire.

David Griggs-Janower is artistic director and conductor of Albany Pro Musica and director of choral music and professor at the University at Albany, State University of New York, where he has taught since 1981.

We welcome Emily Franklin to the show and speak with her about How to Spell Chanukah and Other Holiday Dilemmas..

Charles Dickens' timeless holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, is ubiquitous this time of year. Everyone has their favorite interpretation and one of our favorites is the annual production presented by The Berkshire Theatre Group.

All of your friends: Bob Cratchitt, Tiny Tim, Young Fred, Ebenezer Scrooge and – of course – some ghosts take the stage at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA weekends December 15th through the 30th is the production adapted for the stage and directed by our friend, Eric Hill.