Looking back at the 26th annual production of

Christmas Revels Logo
26th anniversary Logo


The Cast

conceived and directed by Patrick Swanson
music director George Emlen

John Fleagle
Les Cornemuses de Cornouaille
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
(Masks by Ralph Lee)

Fesí Noz
Le Choeur de Quimper
Les Petites Chanterelles
Cambridge Symphonic
Brass Ensemble
The Pinewoods Morris Men
The Lord of the Dance
The Christmas Revels, Cambridge's annual celebration of the Winter Solstice, returned to Harvard University's Sanders Theatre for a 16 performance run December 13-15, 19-22 and 26-29. The program took us on a journey to 19th-century Brittany, in Northern France.

Set in a region rich in ancient stone circles and soaring cathedrals, this Breton Revels transported us, via the magic of storytelling, to an age of chivalry and romance, of bombardes and bagpipes, and the time of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Master troubadour John Fleagle, formerly of Project Ars Nova and a frequent Boston Camerata soloist, rejoined the Revels in a featured role. The ultra-versatile singer and instrumentalist was joined onstage by David Coffin and the 50-member Revels Chorus of adults and children, the Cambridge Symphonic Brass Ensemble, The Pinewoods Morris Men and some of the finest early instrumentalists in New England playing pipes, shawms, pennywhistles and Celtic harp.

New material abounded in this Breton Revels but some familiar carols and audience favorites were included as was audience participation, a Revels hallmark. Besides singing with the cast, audiences were invited to join in "Lord of the Dance", the rousing recessional that traditionally ends Act I. Other highlights included the 13th-century Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, with itís magical folk figures and haunting pipe and author/playwright Susan Cooper's adaptation of the Arthurian legend, "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", featuring larger-than-life puppets designed by Ralph Lee, the award-winning puppet-maker and artistic director of the Metawee River Company in New York. This show marked the fourth collaboration between the Revels and Lee, whose magnificent mythological creations were first seen by Revels audiences in the 1993 Scandinavian Christmas Revels.

Production staff included George Emlen, Music Director; Virginia Morton, Production Manager; Berred Ouellette, Technical Director; Eric Levenson, Set Designer; Nancy Goldstein, Lighting Designer; and Heidi Heimiller, Costume Designer with costumes constructed by CostumeWorks. The production was conceived by Revels' Artistic Director Patrick Swanson who also served as Stage Director.

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Les Petites Chanterelles Les Troubadours Les Petites Chanterelles
The Green Knight and the King Sir Gawain and the Green Knight The Reward
Le Curé Le Semeur The Pinewoods Morris Men
Sheldon Brown & Roger Ide photos
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Did you miss the 25th anniversary Christmas Revels?

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The 2005 Christmas Revels
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The 1998 Christmas Revels 1999 Sea Revels
The 1997 Christmas Revels 1998 Sea Revels
The 1996 Christmas Revels 1997 Midsummer Revels
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christmas96 Since March 30, 1997

url https://www.sheldonbrown.com/org/revels/christmas96.html