As a singer you can’t glide through the festive period without giving someone (usually an audience) a classic Christmas carol or two. It’s a given, especially if a Classical and Musical Theatre singer, that you will be required to sing O Holy Night or Silent Night at least once…or probably three times just for luck which is fine by me as I could sing these continuously for hours on end!
I firmly believe carols are vital for any singer no matter what genre, they are what audiences want. You give the audience want they want. Standard. And yes audiences do love Christmas Carols, ultimately as it’s association with Christmas is unparalleled. Everyone has a favourite carol whether for it’s lyrics or melody or ultimately both. Nostalgia and sentiment is a large thread during the festive period.
Religion preference should not be a factor as ultimately as a performer you perform a mixture of music from a vast pool of beliefs. One of the most wonderful things as a performer, is singing music and gaining understanding of different faiths through music, which builds a unity of cultures, which is so vital in society.
It is not an exaggeration to say Christmas is one of the most musically based times of the year whether popular tunes such as Wham! Last Christmas and Band Aid Do They Know It’s Christmas or classical pieces such as Schubert’s Ave Maria. The variety is incredible and should be embraced, but the traditional is really what has for hundreds of years, been an enduring force.
As a performer, always embrace carols as they have embraced you and continue to enrich you with some of the most beautiful music ever written to share with an audience, you could say a gift.