GreenMatthews bring you a brand-new retelling of the best-loved Yuletide adventure of them all – Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”.
First published in 1843, the story is credited with reinventing and reinvigorating the British Christmas and has been loved and retold by every generation since. Using new lyrics and traditional English folk tunes, GreenMatthews (with special guest Jude Rees of Pilgrims’ Way) use a bewitching blend of voices and instruments to create a musical retelling of this seasonal favourite.
The first half of the show presents a blend of Victorian carols and midwinter folk songs which paint a vivid and colourful picture of the festive season in Dickens’ time. The second half is an hour-long ‘folk opera’ of his most iconic novella – the tale of how flinty-hearted miser Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes several ghostly visitations over the course of a cold and bitter Christmas Eve and awakes the following morning transformed into the epitome of the Christmas spirit – warm-hearted, generous and loving. This heartwarming tale is presented entirely in narrative song, using brand-new lyrics set to traditional English folk and carol melodies.
The show is the latest in a long line of similar ‘folk operas’ which fuse traditional song and storytelling such as Peter Bellamy’s The Transports, Fairport Convention’s Babbacombe Lee and of course Ewan McColl’s classic Radio Ballads. Composer Chris Green says “A Christmas Carol is one of those rare works of literature that has been completely assimilated into the popular consciousness. It’s a tale that has been retold and reinvented by each new generation for the last 170 years, much like a classic folk song – so it seemed a natural progression to retell it using traditional melodies with new words.”
“A Christmas Carol: A Folk Opera” is the perfect show for anyone looking to recapture the simple Yuletide delights of fellowship, laughter and good cheer.