Arguably the most popular early-music ensemble around, the Waverly Consort specializes in reviving a wide range of musical styles popular between the 12th and the mid-18th centuries. Since its founding in 1964 by Michael and Kay Jaffee and some of their fellow New York University musicologists--the name Waverly is taken from a well-known street in Greenwich Village--the group has built up an impressive repertoire. Among its more famous presentations is The Christmas Story, already practically a holiday classic, based on a number of medieval and early Renaissance liturgical plays. The story begins with the message of the archangel Gabriel, follows the journey of the magi to the manger in Bethlehem, exposes the cruel intrigues at King Herod's court, and ends in a joyous hymn of thanksgiving. The Waverly's well-researched, fully staged production, making its local debut, features eight singers and five instrumentalists in period costumes playing replicas of period instruments. Past performances have garnered enthusiastic reviews for the singing and the pageantry; there's every reason to expect this one to do the same. Sunday, 8 PM, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan; 435-6666 or 435-8122.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Steve J. Sherman.