The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

In Broadway’s “Aladdin,” Michael Maliakel flies on a magic carpet over the New Amsterdam Theatre.

“Most of the singing happens when you’re fully out of breath or dancing or sword fighting or whatever it might be, so that presents its own challenges,” Maliakel said of playing the title role of Aladdin during a press event on Friday, Dec. 15. “It’s nice to just stand still and sing some beautiful music.”

This year, he and British actor Lesley Nicol are the guest artists for The Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra and Bells at Temple Square’s 2023 Christmas concerts. The first rehearsal with the choir and orchestra and Maliakel was Tuesday. Nicol’s first rehearsal with the choir and orchestra was on Wednesday. Their first of three performances was Thursday, Dec. 14.

“I can’t believe I’m doing this, honestly,” he said. “It feels really, really special.”

Performing in with the choir, orchestra

Nicol said that being on stage with the musicians and performers has been a unique experience.

“I feel it’s just the most exquisite thing to be standing next to, because the music is so glorious, and the singing is so glorious. I’m kind of in a warm bath,” Nicol said.

During the concert, she narrates the story of author Victor Hugo, and his wife, Adele Hugo, as they began reaching out and hosting dinners, including a Christmas banquet, for needy children in their home.

Choir director Mack Wilberg said they’ve been waiting for a few years to share Hugo’s story “for the right moment.”

There’s a creative team behind the concerts, including creative director David Warner and associate director Ryan Murphy. The story includes both English and French and several of the songs on the program are French carols, including the opening processional, “Sing We Now of Christmas” and “Noe! Noe!”; the organ solo of “To the Cradle Run” and the traditional finale of “Angels from the Realms of Glory.”

The concert opens with the choir members walking up to the stage as they sing the opening number, “Sing We Now of Christmas.”

To read the full article, CLICK HERE