“The Revels is the best Christmas celebration in the known universe. I’ve never been so moved by any performance as by the Revels every single year. I feel privileged to be a part of it.” – A Portland Revels Patron
Our 2017 production, The Christmas Revels Nordic Lights, A Celebration of the Winter Solstice, is a mythic journey into the music, dance, and traditions of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland.
Based on an Icelandic myth, the production intertwines one of the most famous villains of Iceland, the ogress Gryla, with a Finnish story of a magical fox and the Northern Lights. The stunning choral and instrumental music spans the Nordic cultures and includes some well-known favorites along with many new discoveries.
This year’s Christmas Revels music includes beautiful arrangements of folk songs, as well as new vocal works inspired by Nordic singing traditions. Icelandic music is featured in this year’s show including Heyr, himna smiður, a hymn text from the twelfth century in an exquisite setting by composer Þorkell Sigurnjörnsson, and the haunting lullaby Sleep, my young love, in a new arrangement by Robert Lockwood.
We’re excited to be working with Peter Michaelsen, a hardinger fiddler from Washington State, local fiddler and nyckelharpa player Amy Hakanson, and local Nordic dancer and choreographer, Kim Majors. Dances in this year’s Christmas Revels will include the Telespringar, from the Telemark region of Norway and the celebratory Slängpolska från Skåne, from Sweden.
We’re bringing back Portland Revels favorite, Burl Ross, for this year’s show as the storyteller and our Revels Traditions of Morris Dancing, Children’s Chorus, audience sing-alongs, a hilarious Mummer’s Play and NEW life-size puppets!