Juno-award winning Celtic-inspired musician Loreena McKennitt will be performing a seasonal concert on December 15 in Peterborough, one of eight cities on her “Under A Winter’s Moon” tour.
The tour performance is a restaging, with the original musicians and narrators, of a series of concerts McKennitt performed last December in her hometown of Stratford, Ontario. The concerts were recorded and will be released as Under A Winter’s Moon — McKennitt’s 16th album — on November 18.
The album features 15 seasonal songs performed live by McKennitt, interspersed with seasonal readings by Indigenous actor Tom Jackson, Gemini award-winning actor Cedric Smith. and Ojibway artist and flautist Jeffrey “Red” George.
“On a handful of winter’s nights close to the solstice of December 2021, my musical friends and I wove this miscellany of music and spoken word,” writes McKennitt in the new album’s liner notes. “I sought to incorporate elements of the oral traditions found in many cultures — to capture, inspire and reconnect us with our past, while offering a reminder of the people of those times and what their manner of communication meant in their lives and might mean still.”
The Peterborough show will include favourites as “Coventry Carol,” “Good King Wenceslas,” and the “Huron Carol,” and includes a special appearance by Jeffrey “Red” George. The first set begins with a recording of Jackson reading “The Sky Woman Story,” an Indigenous creation story, while the whole second set includes Smith’s reading, in six parts, of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” a moving and nostalgic piece of prose by the late Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.
Along with singing, McKennitt will play harp, keyboard, and accordion. She will be accompanied by Caroline Lavelle on cello and recorders, Graham Hargrove on percussion, Errol Fischer on fiddle, Pete Watson on guitar and 12-string bouzouki, and Cait Watson on Irish whistle. All these musicians will also add back-up vocals for the performance.
VIDEO: “The Huron Carol” performed by Loreena McKennitt
McKennitt’s eclectic Celtic blend of pop, folk, and world music has sold over 14 million albums worldwide. Her recordings have achieved gold, platinum, and multi-platinum status in 15 countries on four continents. She has twice been nominated for a Grammy award and has won two Juno awards, as well as a Billboard international achievement award.
She has performed in some of the world’s most-respected and historic concert venues, from Carnegie Hall to the famous Alhambra Palace in Granada in Spain and for dignitaries including the late Queen Elizabeth II and His Majesty King Charles III, and other heads of state.
In addition to her musical career, McKennitt has been recognized for a number of noteworthy philanthropic initiatives, including The Cook-Rees Memorial Fund for Water Search and Safety, Falstaff Family Centre, and Honorary Colonel of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
In 2004, McKennitt was awarded the Order of Canada and in 2013 was appointed Knight of the National Order of Arts and Letters of the Republic of France.
“Loreena McKennitt: Under A Winter’s Moon” takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 15th at Showplace Performance Centre in downtown Peterborough. Tickets are $93 and will be available at the Showplace box office or online at tickets.showplace.org. Note: a mask mandate will be in effect for all performances on McKennitt’s tour.
For more information about Under A Winter’s Moon, visit underawintersmoon.com.