A pair of glittery red heels fills the shot; a baseball bat swings ominously. The camera pans up to reveal the bat-wielder as Mariah Carey, clad in a dazzling ballgown. The singer creeps out of the house and smashes a pumpkin: Halloween is over and Christmas can begin! How did Carey come to be in charge of our calendars? Because, for lots of people, the festivities only really start when they hear All I Want for Christmas is You, the 1994 hit that made the American singer a household name.
For others, it might be John Williams’s evocative soundtrack to Home Alone or the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge singing Coventry Carol. Our annual musical associations quickly become traditions; listening, singing and playing is deeply integrated into celebrations.
Given that most events were cancelled last December, this will be the first time that most of us are partaking in live musical Christmassy treats for two years – so we’re doing a Mariah and fully embracing the season. Here are some potential dates for your diary.
Tchaikovsky’s much-loved wintry ballet (below) once again sweeps across theatres. Birmingham Royal Ballet are performing it at Birmingham Hippodrome (November 20 until December 11); Scottish Ballet at the Edinburgh
Festival Theatre (December 1-31) and the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, London (until January 8).
James Macmillan’s Christmas Oratorio