Stir up holiday spirit with Christmas Cabaret

Published 12:44 am Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A little naughty and a little nice describes the 2017 Natchez Festival of Music annual “Christmas Cabaret.”

Think of it as your ticket for instant holiday spirit.

This year’s amazing talented line up will be directed by Natchez favorite, Joseph Britain from St. Louis, Mo. He has also been the music director and arranger for other well known Natchez events such as “The British Invasion,” “The King of Rock and Roll” and “The Inspirations of Glen Ballard.” The festive evening will be narrated Sarah Carter-Smith, Ward 3 Alderwoman, and features the star power of Maryann Kyle,  John C. Adams,  Ezekiel Andrew and Krista McKenzie performing your favorite holiday classics and a few numbers with a wink of seasonal cheer.

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The festivities will beat 7:30 p.m. Friday Dec. 1 at the Natchez Convention Center. A cash bar and wine by the glass or bottle will be available. Tickets are available for $35 or $300 for a table of 10.

Again, this year there will be a “Table Decorating Challenge.” First place prize is one ticket to the 2018 Main Stage events. Table decorations are not required but are encouraged. So show up from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday to work your table magic.

Natchez festival “crowd favorites,” Maryann Kyle and John Christopher Adams will again light up the stage. John Christopher, a native of Fannin and a 2006 graduate of the Mississippi College Department of Music, quickly established himself on stages around the world with “a major, stunning voice” (Opera News).

Listeners have applauded him for his “ability to pour his heart and soul into every phrase.” International audiences have heard him on stages from Zurich, Switzerland, to Tel Aviv, Israel. Stateside he has appeared with Seattle Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Mississippi Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Maryann Kyle is sure to light up the room with the signature twinkle in her eye and show-stopping performances. Maryann, professor of voice at the University of Southern Mississippi, has dedicated her professional life to guiding singers and teachers in their pursuit of exceptional singing and captivating performance. An active performer of opera, concert and recital repertoire, she has shared the concert stage with some of the world’s greatest artists.

Krista McKenzie, a powerhouse gospel great, is passionate about many different genres of music. She currently serves as the choral director of Laurel High School. Krista returns to Natchez following her show-stopping performance in “From Mississippi to Motown” as does baritone, Ezekiel Andrew.  A Mississippi-born baritone, Ezekiel, has delighted audiences across musical genres, most recently headlining the sold-out USM performance of “Phantom of The Opera.”

In addition to stirring up Christmas cheer, we’ll be toasting the exciting performance line up for our 2018 season.

Our season slates several events celebrating the centennial of Leonard Bernstein, the bicentennial of Charles Gounod and the tricentennial of New Orleans. We also bring in top vocal performers from all over the United States who will be featured in Stephen Sondheim’s smash hit musical “A Little Night Music” as well as Gounod’s iconic opera “Faust.” The season continues with several now-traditional and fan-favorite events, “Rossini, Puccini, and Martinis,” and “Rockin’ on the River” at Bowie’s.

You won’t want  to miss the dramatic evening of “Beyond Phantom: The Majestic World of the Organ,” celebrating the power of this legendary instrument with everything from Bach to “Phantom of the Opera” and John Williams film scores. We will feature “The British Invasion of Natchez II: The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper and Beyond,” includes Led Zeppelin, The Who  and more, then celebrate an evening of “HOT” salsa music with our “Havana Nights” event.

We are excited to continue to present one of the best and most inclusive music festivals that our state has ever seen. Remember tickets are a great gift idea for anyone on your list. (Plus, you can avoid the last minute shopping crowds!)

Plan your table and reserve your tickets online at  Please join us for this festive evening as we sing in the holiday season.
Jay Dean is the general director of the Natchez Festival of Music.