Opera Las Vegas’ fifth annual “Holiday on Broadway” — Saturday afternoon at the Clark County Library — serves up a bountiful buffet of seasonal songs from stage and screen, from ubiquitous.

The Sin City program also features such familiar carols as “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “O Holy Night.” But don’t expect to hear “Holly Jolly Christmas” and other popular holiday tunes.

“We’ve learned some things over the past seven years” Sin City Opera has presented holiday concerts, says artistic director Skip Galla, noting “what works and what doesn’t.”

What works, he explains, is “Christmas and holiday classics.” But when “we tried to do some holiday favorites, we learned we should not be trying to sing pop.”

In part, that’s because opera sometimes requires sacrificing dramatic elements “for the sake of the voice,” he explains. “It’s hard to go back and forth.” Besides, “it’s not really what our audience wants out of us.”

Instead, Saturday’s ”Christmas at the Opera” audience will hear excerpts from Massenet’s “Werther” (inspired by Goethe’s novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther”), some of which takes place on Christmas Eve.

Opera Las Vegas’ Clark County Library matinee promises a 45-minute revue of “famous and not-so-famous” holiday songs from stage and screen, general director James Sohre says. All the songs being sung “have to have the right lilt … and the right spirit,” Sohre says. Whether “joyous and uplifting” or “bittersweet,” the holiday tunes “have to touch your heart.”

 

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