The Christmas Revels: All Shall Be Well Again
The Christmas Revels, one of the Upper Valley’s most unique and popular holiday traditions since 1975, enjoyed a new beginning in 2019 with our move to Lebanon Opera House. “An English Celebration of the Winter Solstice” was enthusiastically received both by longtime Revels audiences and those seeing the show for the first time. Over 3,000 people attended the five performances, with audience members coming from 87 New Hampshire and 92 Vermont towns, making this a true regional event. Although Revels North was eagerly anticipating the follow-up to our debut production in our new home, COVID-19 has forced us to change plans, as it has for every performing arts organization across the country. This summer, Revels North made the necessary decision to cancel December’s live Christmas Revels production due to the pandemic. Fortunately, we have had time to turn this challenge into an exciting opportunity, both for Revels North and our audience.
Revels North will produce a
15-20 minute film called
The Christmas Revels:
All Shall Be Well Again,
available to the public starting in mid-November.
This film will keep the annual Christmas Revels tradition alive for our audience by creating a surprising, entertaining, and safe alternative to the live production. We will provide a range of ways for people to view this film in their homes, including for free through local media resources such as CATV and on social media platforms such as Facebook. We recognize that many families have felt severe financial hardship due to COVID-19, so creating free opportunities to view The Christmas Revels will help bring joy to their holidays. The shortness of the film, the inclusion of SALT Project’s nuanced animation and No Strings Marionette Company’s artistry, and the opportunity for free viewings will also appeal to people who have never attended The Christmas Revels before and want to get a sense of why it has been an Upper Valley tradition for 45 years. Our hope is that this film itself becomes a new holiday tradition for Upper Valley families.
The initial response within our community to news about this film has been wildly enthusiastic, giving Revels North optimism that our fans will be excited as well. With potential audiences not limited this year by geography, calendar, or price, we see potential for this film to be viewed by more people than any Revels North production of The Christmas Revels in our history.
Behind The Scenes
This production will be led by Nils Fredland, Revels North artistic director since 2015, and Josiah Proietti, longtime Christmas Revels performer and stage director since 2015.
The film production will be managed by SALT Project, a small three-time Emmy-award winning non-profit film production company based in Keene, NH dedicated to the craft of visual storytelling. Since 2008, SALT Project has specialized in short films and animation that “help the world catch a glimpse of who you are and what you do.” Examples of SALT’s nuanced animation, which will be included in our Christmas Revels film, can be viewed here:
SALT’s Emmy-nominated work can be viewed here
(* indicates film won an Emmy Award):
*Strange Fruit (2015) (recommended for teens and adults)
You can learn more about SALT Project by visiting their website:
Additional artistic partners involved in this film include:
No Strings Marionette Company of Randolph, VT, a collaborator in the 2015 production of The Christmas Revels, who has created "Jack" for our film (shown in photo on left with other No Strings creations)
Jane Boxall, a percussionist based in Vermont who was a guest artist in the 2019 production at Lebanon Opera House (shown in photo on right at recording session for our film)
Alex Cumming of Medford, MA, also a guest artist in the 2019 production (center)
Furthermore, local participation is at the core of every Christmas Revels, and this year’s film will be no exception as we have invited recent Revels North chorus participants to have their voices included in the film.
Image from The Christmas Revels: All Shall Be Well Again courtesy of SALT Project.
The Christmas Revels: All Shall Be Well Again is expected to be released to the public in mid-November, with scheduled free viewings possible on New Hampshire and Vermont community television stations, including 15 broadcasts on CATV starting Thanksgiving Day. Click here for the CATV schedule.
Revels North will also hold several free Facebook "Watch Party" viewings of the film in November and December. Some individuals and businesses who sponsor this film will be invited to sponsor or co-host a Watch Party with Revels North.
Paid streaming will also be available on Vimeo starting in November.
More information will be available here in October. Stay tuned!
Due to COVID-19, a live production with a full cast and chorus was not possible in 2020. Thank you for your understanding. If you are interested in learning about future auditions for The Christmas Revels or other opportunities to sing in our year-round programs, please sign up for our email list.
About The Christmas Revels
The Christmas Revels, a beloved Upper Valley tradition for the whole family since 1975, is presented annually by Revels North. We celebrate the holiday season and the turning of the year with singing, dancing, and traditions that span the centuries and the globe. Recent performances have featured the stories, music and traditions of the Northlands, Québec, Ireland, Appalachia, England, and Venice. After over forty years of performances at the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College, Revels North brought The Christmas Revels to historic Lebanon Opera House in 2019.
The Christmas Revels would not be possible without the participation of dozens of children, teens, and adults who take on acting roles, join the chorus, and volunteer with costuming, makeup and hair styling. In typical years, auditions for The Christmas Revels take place in late spring, with rehearsals beginning in September.