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Magnificent music abounds in the Twin Cities this time of year. Among local classical music performances, these eight look particularly great.

The Minnesota Orchestra's 'Messiah'

For the first time since 2019, the Minnesota Orchestra and Minnesota Chorale will perform George Frideric Handel's complete oratorio, led by English conductor Christopher Warren-Green. It will be the Minnesota Orchestra debut for all four vocal soloists, including countertenor Reginald Mobley, currently up for a Grammy. (8 p.m. Fri., 7 p.m. Sat.; Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.; $51-$136; 612-371-5656 or


A group specializing in works for choir and orchestra offers an evening-full, including J.S. Bach's "Magnificat," excerpts from Benjamin Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols" and premieres by two Minnesota composers. (7 p.m. Fri., Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 4801 France Av. S., Mpls.; 7 p.m. Sat., Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church, 5011 31st Av. S., Mpls.; 3 p.m. Sun., Normandale Lutheran Church, 6100 Normandale Road, Edina; $10-$35; 651-707-0727 or


In addition to linking up with the Bach Society later this month for the "Christmas Oratorio," the Twin Cities' chief keeper of Upper Midwest choral tradition will present its annual "Welcome Christmas" concerts. On the program are carols both new and traditional, and a new work by celebrated Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalds. (4 p.m. Sat.-Sun.; Northrop, 84 SE. Church St., Mpls.; $5-$55; 612-624-2345 or

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's 'Messiah'

You've probably never encountered this at a "Messiah" performance: Dmitry Sinkovsky will not only conduct, but will sing the countertenor solos, joining three other impressive vocal soloists and chamber choir the Singers. (7 p.m. Dec. 14-15, Basilica of St. Mary, 1600 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.; 7 p.m. Dec. 16 & 2 p.m. Dec. 17, Ordway Concert Hall, 345 Washington St., St. Paul; $5-$55; 651-291-1144 or

'Frozen' with the Minnesota Orchestra

If you bear an aversion to winter, let it go and be swept away by this 2013 animated Disney feature about a young woman's search for the sister who's encased their kingdom in ice. Sarah Hicks conducts the orchestra while the film is projected above them. (7 p.m. Dec. 15, 2 & 7 p.m. Dec. 16, 2 p.m. Dec. 17; Orchestra Hall; $37-$103; 612-371-5656 or

'The Gift of the Magi'

Skylark Opera Theatre presents David Conte's chamber opera, an adaptation of O. Henry's short story about a cash-strapped couple seeking the ideal gifts for each other. It boasts two strong-voiced leads in Siena Forest and Tony Potts. (7 p.m. Dec. 15, 2 & 7 p.m. Dec. 16, 2 & 6 p.m. Dec. 17, Lowry Lab Theater, 346 St. Peter St., St. Paul; $25-$45; 612-440-0911 or

Magnum Chorum

If you missed last weekend's St. Olaf Christmas Festival, know that few groups uphold that choral legacy with more transporting beauty than Magnum Chorum. Dwight Jilek will conduct a collection of contemporary carols, as well as Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols." (8 p.m. Dec. 16, Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church, 1938 Stanford Av., St. Paul; 4 p.m. Dec. 17, Westwood Lutheran Church, 9001 Cedar Lake Road, St. Louis Park; $5-$30;

Kristin Chenoweth with the Minnesota Orchestra

The hottest ticket of the holiday season is for an evening full of laughter and song with this consummate entertainer, which was postponed from last December. The Emmy- and Tony-winning Chenoweth will offer new arrangements of holiday songs while veteran Broadway music director Mary-Mitchell Campbell conducts. (7:30 p.m. Dec. 18, Orchestra Hall; $52-$130; 612-371-5656 or

Rob Hubbard is a Twin Cities classical music writer. Reach him at