The Birth of Christ brings the Nativity story to life this Christmas with a special on Public Television
By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
UNITED STATES / DUBLIN, IRELAND (ANS) -- After decades of sectarian conflict and bloodshed, Protestants and Catholics recently came together for a special evening in Dublin, Ireland to celebrate what unites them: The Birth of Christ.
Cover artwork for The Birth of Christ.
Miller commented "I hope that people realize that grace and peace often come in unexpected ways, to places overlooked and ignored." This historic world premiere of The Birth of Christ reunited the very same Protestant Choirs of the Christ Church and St. Patrick's Cathedrals that Handel used to unveil his 'Messiah' in 1742, along with St. Mary's Pro Cathedral Choir, a Catholic ensemble.
"The Catholic and Protestant singers involved in this project put aside their differences for 'One Blessed Night' and raised their voices in unison around the central mystery of their faith," said Liam Neeson (Schindler's List, Gangs of New York, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace).
"If you listen closely, you will not only hear their unity, but experience the inspiring peace it generated," says a promotional website.
Accompanied by a full orchestra in Europe's revered Christ Church Cathedral, The Birth of Christ is a contemporary classical piece scheduled to air on Public Television, nation-wide, throughout the 2007 Christmas Season. The CD and DVD will be available from Sony BMG Masterworks on November 6.
Composer, Andrew T. Miller, a Seattle native, said, "I was determined to premiere this work abroad to underscore the universality of the Christmas story, and the power of music to overcome strife and conflict."
"The birth of a tiny Child in a Bethlehem manger has fascinated mankind for centuries. In this dramatic cantata Miller and his accomplished soloists take us back to the first century," said Raymond Arroyo, Executive Producer of The Birth of Christ and host and creator of EWTN's international news magazine The World Over Live.
"Each of the characters are faced with a choice, a personal choice to obey the call of God or to reject it. These are choices that we all face each day," Arroyo added.
Hosted and narrated by Liam Neeson, Andrew T Miller's The Birth of Christ musically brings the Gospel of Luke to life, and revivifies the passion, unity, and peace found in the Nativity story. It has found it's way to Number One on Amazon's classical music list.
Cantata composer Miller commented "I hope that people realize that grace and peace often come in unexpected ways, to places overlooked and ignored."
Narrator Liam Neeson said: "Destined to become a classic. Aside from the transcendent beauty of the work, this piece has already demonstrated its power to unite people."
After much acclamation from its debut on a PBS affiliate in Seattle, The Birth of Christ continues to capture audiences across the country.
This inspiring, musical celebration brings the Christmas story to vivid life as never before. Through song, the timeless characters beloved the world over: Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and the Shepherds reveal their humanity and passion.
Recorded live in Ireland, this historic premiere of The Birth of Christ brings together a chorus of Catholic and Protestant singers who for "One Blessed Night" put aside their sectarian differences and raised their voices in unity and peace around the central mystery of their faith.
Featuring a narration of Luke's Nativity by Liam Neeson, this musical treasure will awaken you again to the startling wonder of Christmas.
The joy and hope of The Birth of Christ has surged to #1 on www.Amazon.com. The new Christmas classic has proven that the real meaning of Christmas is still significant.
Composer Andrew T Miller brings the true meaning of the season to life in The Birth of Christ. Hosted and narrated by Academy Award winner Liam Neeson, The Birth of Christ debuted as a local Seattle PBS pledge drive and exceeded monetary expectations 3 times over.
While airing on less than 30 percent of PBS stations nationwide, it is climbing the charts on www.Amazon.com and Billboard's Classical bestseller list.
The DVD The Birth of Christ (SONY BMG Masterworks 2007) is sitting at the #1 spot for Amazon.com's Classical music selections. Accompanied by a full orchestra in Europe's revered Christ Church Cathedral, The Birth of Christ is a contemporary classical piece airing on Public Television, nation-wide, throughout the 2007 Christmas Season.
Audio CD Release Date: November 06, 2007
Studio: SONY CLASSICS
Composer: Owen Gilhooly, Spoken Word
Conductor: Andrew T. Miller
Number Of Discs: 1
Average Customer Rating: based on 8 reviews
1. Introduction by Liam Neeson
2. Prologue: One Blessed Night
3. The Annunciation of John
4. The Annunciation of Christ
5. The Visitation
6. Mary's Canticle
8. Zechariah's Canticle
9. Luke 2:1-20 The Birth of Christ
10. Journey to Bethlehem
11. The Birth of Christ
12. A Shepherd's Song
13. Epilogue: One Blessed Night (Reprised)
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|** Michael Ireland is an international British freelance journalist. A former reporter with a London newspaper, Michael is the Chief Correspondent for ASSIST News Service of Lake Forest, California. Michael immigrated to the United States in 1982 and became a US citizen in September, 1995. He is married with two children. Michael has also been a frequent contributor to UCB Europe, a British Christian radio station. His weblog appears at: Michael's Wor(l)d BLOG|