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Chelsea Opera Presents........
A Child's Christmas in Wales
composed by Matthew Harris story by Dylan Thomas


Listen: Dylan Thomas rendition
Meet the Composer
Read the story
Listen to Audio Excerpts:*
One Christmas was so much like another


Years and Years Ago

The Useful Presents

The Useless Presents

The Uncles

Always on Christmas Night

*performed by Harmonium Choral Society.
By permission from composer and Harmonium Choral Society

  Watch interviews with the Composer Matthew Harris

This concert is being presented in honor of the late
Nicholas S. Priore, Esq.
and introducing: The Nicholas S. Priore New Possibilities Fund

Become a funder today!

  concert will feature the voices of the Chelsea Opera Ensemble, special guest soloists and the Chelsea Opera Chamber Orchestra
featuring tenor soloist Brandon Snook
  with a special performance by Benjamin Perry Wenzelberg of
Walking in the Air by Howard Blake from The Snowman
  Courtenay Schowalter, Assistant Producer

Featuring members of the Chelsea Opera Ensemble and invited guests:

Anna Hasek Bell
Gwendolyn R. Chambrun
Marilyn Grell
Emily Groveman
Polly Guerin
Bonnie Harris
Jeanne-Marie Holcomb
Leslie Ann Lopez*
Kathleen McClafferty*

Patricia Mullenaux
Lindsay O'Neil*
Bethany Richards*
Courtney Ross
Traci Djonne Schanke*
Monica Thakkar
Alicia Williams
Albina B. Zajmi

Jessica Bunker
Andie Cortes-Comerer
Lisa Daehlin
Rosemary Essig
Joan Estep*
Helen Fanelli*
Leonarda Priore*
Christine Reimer*
Betty Satterwhite
SallyAnn Thibedeau
Kristina Wilson
Max Calbick
Matt De
Brian Joyce*
Israel Martinez


Willie Morales
Salvatore Priore*
Chad Smyser*
Brandon Snook*
David Glatstein
Brian Henry*
Saidue Karmo*
Kenneth Lahn*
Bradley Lassiter*
Herb Lopez*
Jordan Shaner
Darren Walker*

  * denotes soloist
  Meet the Composer: Mathew Harris
For more information
about Mr. Harris visit

Matthew Harris lives and works in New York City. He studied at The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory and Harvard University. He has taught at Fordham University and Kingsborough College (CUNY) and in 1988 founded Harris Musiciology. He has had orchestral works performed by The Minnesota, Houston, Florida, Jacksonville, Chattanooga, Spokane and Modesto Symphony Orchestras; chamber works by the Lark Quartet, New York New Music Ensemble and League-ISCM; and vocal works by Sheryl Studer and Faith Esham.

New York City Opera presented scenes from his opera Tess on their American Composers Showcase series. Three Arias from Tess was premiered by The Lake George Opera Festival and Three Choruses from Tess was premiered at Carnegie Hall. His highly popular choral works have been commissioned or premiered by leading choruses such as the Dale Warland Singers, Phoenix Bach Choir, Los Angeles Chamber Singers, Western Wind, and Cantori New York, and sung by countless school & community choirs across America. A Child's Christmas in Wales was commissioned by Harmonium (NJ) and is performed throughout the US and the UK.

Other commissions have come from the Fromm Foundation/Aspen Music Festival (where he was a Composer-in-Residence), Verdehr Trio, Modesto Symphony Orchestra, Haydn-Mozart Orchestra, American Composers Forum, Schubert Club and US-Mexico Cultural Fund. The National Endowment for the Arts twice awarded him a Composer Fellowship. Other fellowships and grants have come from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Tanglewood, Meet The Composer, the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. He has won composition awards from the Chautauqua Chamber Singers, Georges Enesco Foundation, Society for New Music, National Association of Composers, Musicians Accord, Taubman Institute, ASCAP and BMI.

His newest opera, The Mark of Cain, with a libretto by Terry Quinn, will be premiered by
Chelsea Opera in November 2012 during their 2012-2013 season.

  Dylan Marlais Thomas
For more information
about Mr. Thomas visit:
  A Child's Christmas in Wales is a prose work by the Welsh writer Dylan Thomas. Originally emerging from a piece written for radio, the poem was recorded by Thomas in 1952. The story is an anecdotal retelling of a Christmas from the view of a young child and is a romanticised version of Christmases past, portraying a nostalgic and simpler time. It is one of Thomas' most popular works
A Child's Christmas in Wales - Press Release

Welsh poet Dylan Thomas charming and ageless story, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, will be sung by the Chelsea Opera Ensemble in a four-part setting by NYC composer Matthew Harris with other holiday selections in the first Chelsea Opera presents concert of its 8th season.

The Chelsea Opera Ensemble is comprised of past principal and ensemble singers, led by chorus master Audrey Saint-Gil. Also on the program is the single vocal solo from Howard Blake’s orchestration of the popular animated story, The Snowman. Singing “Walking in the Air will be Chelsea Opera’s 2009 Amahl, Benjamin Perry Wenzelberg who this summer was a featured singer in New York City's Shakespeare in the Park’s Measure for Measure. Only 11 years of age, Benjamin has already performed with The Met and NYCO’s children’s choruses, and attends Juilliard, where he is writing his first opera! This concert will also feature the Chelsea Opera Chamber Orchestra conducted by Maestro Carmine Aufiero.

One performance only will be given on December 16 at 8:00 pm at Christ and St. Stephen’s Church 120 West 69th Street, between Broadway and Columbus, Manhattan, New York. Tickets are $25 general admission and $20 students/seniors purchased in advance (or $30 and $25 at the door). Children under 10 will be admitted free with a paying adult. Tickets may be purchased on-line (link through or by calling 1-866-811-4111. T his production is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the Friends of Chelsea Opera. For more information, visit or call 212-260-1796.

When Leonarda Priore and Lynne Hayden-Findlay first heard the opening measures of composer Matthew Harris cantata, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, their eyes flooded with tears. Although written with a modern tonality, there is a lush and opulent color to the four-part (and sometimes 7-part) writing, reminiscent of the best SATB writing for English (or Welsh) hymns. Based on the Dylan Thomas story, the seven movements are a fond remembrance of family, food, snowfalls, presents both useful and useless, wild and crazy relatives and even a house on fire! Each movement has its own color, musically interprets the text perfectly, and promises to melt your heart.

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