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Hot orchestra for cold nights

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Rose Garden Theatre of the Clouds

Dec. 8

6:30 p.m. doors

7:30 p.m. start

$28.50 & $38.50

If you never seen the Trans-Siberian Orchestra perform, you need to. Granted, the name makes you wonder where these musicians call home (here in the United States), but the caliber and quality of music you will hear is nothing that you’d expect.

Formed in 1996 by Paul O’Neill, Robert Kinkel and Jon Oliva, who form the core of the writing team for Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the group was looking to create a musical experience unlike anything ever before witnessed by audiences. Collaboratively, they “wanted to write the kind of music that was so melodic it didn’t need lyrics. And lyrics that were so poetic that they didn’t need music but once you put the two of them together, the sum of the parts would be greater than the whole, and you couldn’t imagine them apart.”

Once this was accomplished, they were still looking for a way to take it to even greater heights. They realized that putting the songs within the context of a story would give it a third dimension that would make that additional emotional impact possible.

Hence, they started writing not just albums, but rock operas.

O’Neill explains: “With Trans-Siberian Orchestra, first the music is created with no artificial limitations, and then we seek out within the classical, rock, Broadway and R & B worlds, the very best singers and musicians to bring each song to life. This also in many ways forces us to operate on a higher level. From this ‘higher level’ an environment is created which creates a cross-pollination of musical ideas. Hybrid forms of music that normally never would have occurred, such as an R&B singer doing a classical style melody and bringing gospel touches to it that causes it to glitter in ways that even the creators could not have predicted.”

This year’s “Christmas Eve & Other Stories” begins with the line “On Christmas Eve, the Lord looked down from above at all His children. It had been nearly two thousand years since the birth of His son and turning to His youngest angel the Lord said: ‘Go down to the earth and bring back to me the one thing that best represents everything good that has been done in the name of this day.'”

From that story, all of the expected holiday favorites can be found. Songs such as “O Come All Ye Faithful,” O Holy Night,” “A Star To Follow,” “First Snow,” “The Silent Nutcracker,” “The First Noel” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

Debuting back in 1996 with the memorable “Beethoven’s Last Night” as well as having produced “The Christmas Attic” and “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” rock operas, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s performance is an event you will not soon forget.