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Nathan Gunn, Jane Seymour to join Mormon Tabernacle Choir for annual Christmas concerts

SHARE Nathan Gunn, Jane Seymour to join Mormon Tabernacle Choir for annual Christmas concerts

SALT LAKE CITY — American baritone Nathan Gunn will join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for their annual Christmas concert in December, with well-known English-American actress Jane Seymour set to narrate the holiday program.

Choir leaders made the announcement Thursday morning on KSL-Radio's Doug Wright Show, This year's concerts will be held in the LDS Church's downtown Conference Center at 8 p.m. on Dec. 15, 16, and 17. There also will be a mini-concert for those attending the Choir's regular "Music and the Spoken Word" broadcast at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 18.

Due to the high demand for this event, free tickets are distributed through a random selection process. Each household is limited to one registration, with the possibility of getting four tickets.

Those hoping to get tickets to this year's concert can go to www.LDS.org/events to register beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, and continuing through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17.

Those without Internet access can register over the phone at (801) 570-0080 or, outside Salt Lake City, at 1-866-LDS-TIKS during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Gunn is one of the most in-demand baritones in the world, appearing in renowned opera houses across the United States and in Europe, including the Metropolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Paris Opera and the Madrid Opera. He also has performed in concert with the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony.

He appeared once before with the Tabernacle Choir, in 1998, and remembers it as a "shocking" experience.

"Of course, I knew about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir," he said, "but I wasn't quite prepared for the amazing warmth that was coming from behind me when I sang with them. To be supported with that kind of sound is really an incredible experience. I honestly can't wait to experience it again."

Seymour is known for her work in such movies as "Somewhere in Time" and for her role as "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" on TV. She also has written several books, including "Open Hearts," "Making Yourself at Home" and a series of children's books written with her husband, James Keach.

"I've been a big fan of the choir for many years," she said Thursday morning during a break in filming for an upcoming Hallmark Channel movie. "I've seen the videos (of previous Tabernacle Choir Christmas concerts) — what an amazing sight! What an amazing venue! It is intimate, and yet it seats 21,000 people!"

Seymour said she used to sing in choirs and play in orchestras as a child, so sharing the stage with the Tabernacle Choir will be like the fulfillment of a childhood fantasy.

"I wish I could play and I wish I could sing," she said, "but I will be anxious to do the best I can with my narration to participate in this great program."

"Each year we have the good fortune to work with guest artists of exceptional caliber and this year is no exception," said Mack Wilberg, music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. "We have some new plans for our program this year, and we always try to have a few surprises for the concert performances. In the meantime, we will be hard at work in rehearsals with the choir, orchestra, bells and our volunteer dancers."

"Glad Christmas Tidings," the recording of the choir's 2010 concert, is now available on CD, DVD and Blu-ray from the choir website or at deseretbook.com/ Deseret Book. Pieces from last year's concert revolved around old-time pioneer Christmases of the past. The CD includes 13 live-recorded songs, including pieces featuring David Archuleta and actor Michael York.

EMAIL: jwalker@desnews.com