Looking for a last-minute way to add some holiday cheer into your week? Openly gay, Emmy-nominated lyric tenor Marco Panuccio is coming to town Tuesday, Dec. 15 to present “O Holy Night: An Evening of Holiday Song” at Central Presbyterian Church.

Panuccio currently lives in Cincinnati and London but this isn’t his first visit to Atlanta. He’s performed as the tenor soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in several productions in recent years. This is his sixth year presenting his “O Holy Night” concert series and he’s in the middle of a six-city American tour.

Panuccio answered a few questions with Georgia Voice in advance of his Atlanta tour stop.

What can viewers expect from “O Holy Night” that they wouldn’t get at other holiday concerts?

My Emmy-nominated holiday concert is one of a kind in which audiences experience a very intimate evening that is moving, tender, musical, thought provoking, and full of heartfelt expression. The music itself is full of surpassing beauty.

The program will feature myself and my collaborative pianist, Jason Maynard, who is the organist at Central Presbyterian Church and also a member of the Atlanta Symphony Chorus. This is Jason’s third year collaborating with me for “O Holy Night.” We have performed on three different occasions in Augusta, Georgia and we are very excited to be making our debut for this concert in Atlanta this year.

What are some of the numbers that you’ll be singing?

It takes months to select the exact pieces for the American tour each year. The selections are relevant to current affairs happening around the world. There are timeless classics such as Donizetti’s “Ave Maria” and selections from Handel’s Messiah, as well as yuletide songs from a more modern era, including “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “The Christmas Song,” and of course, “O Holy Night”.

What do you enjoy about performing live?

Everything!!! The most exciting part about performing live is that it is live. Nothing prerecorded, nothing scripted. Everyone is in the moment of the music and its meaning. I become extremely personal with the audience telling them stories and explaining to them the reasons why I chose the selections for them.

The moments that make me so happy during the concert are when the audience sings with me during the “sing-alongs.” The joy on the audiences’ faces when we sing with one accord is inspiring to me because it validates the reason why I perform these concerts.

Looking forward to visiting any local hotspots during your return to Atlanta?

I made my debut in Atlanta in 2013 with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as the tenor soloist in the Verdi’s Requiem. I fell in love with Atlanta. It was my first time ever spending time downtown and in midtown. I visited the Botanical Gardens, Zoo Atlanta, and made a day out of experiencing the masterpieces that are at the High Museum of Art. Jason and I ate at a mom and pop diner called The Silver Skillet Restaurant, Colonnade Restaurant and Campagnolo.

This year I will returning to the High Museum, Colonnade Restaurant and after the concert, relaxing with Jason at Cafe Intermezzo and probably ending the night at Mixx. Jason and I will be preparing for our last performance of the 2015 tour of “O Holy Night” in Augusta on Dec. 17.

Marco Panuccio Presents “O Holy Night: An Evening of Holiday Song”
Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Central Presbyterian Church
Students $15.00
General admission $25.00
Tickets: atlanta.brownpapertickets.com

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