Bravo! to feature holiday-inspired shows

Live performances by Canadian musicians, plus a swing version of The Nutcracker, will dominate the net's December programming.

The Rankin sisters (pictured) return to their Nova Scotia hometown to perform holiday carols in The Rankin Sisters – Home For Christmas, a one-hour special narrated by Down East author Alistair MacLeod, which will air Dec. 11 at 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT.

Immediately following at 8:30 pm ET/5:30 pm PT is Glorious Christmas, in which some of pop music’s biggest stars perform traditional holiday songs from the Vatican. Among the singers are Bryan Adams, Dionne Warwick, Tom Jones, Sarah Brightman and Manhattan Transfer.

The Assisi Christmas Concert 2005 airs Dec. 15 at 7pm ET/4 pm PT (repeating Dec. 22 at 10 pm ET/7pm PT). It features the RAI National Symphony Orchestra accompanying Israeli singer Noa, the New London Children’s Choir and the Goran Bregovic Wedding and Funeral Band, all performing Christmas songs in Assisi, Italy.

Also on Dec. 15, at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT, there’s The Swinging Nutcracker, a version of Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet using ’30s and ’40s swing music. Then, at 10 pm/7pm PT (repeating Dec. 25 at 5pm ET/2pm PT), there’s Bravo’s original production, Barenaked for the Holidays, in which the ‘Ladies’ perform original songs inspired by the season, plus fun renditions of traditional carols from their holiday album.

On Dec. 18, the Paisley Abbey Choir will sing a selection of classic Christmas carols in Christmas Music from Rosslyn Chapel, which airs at 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT (repeating Dec. 24 at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT). Following it, at 8pm ET/5 pm PT, is Quartet Plus 4 at Christmas, in which the all-woman Blue Engine String Quartet will perform traditional Christmas songs at Halifax’s St. George’s Round Church.

The Come Into the Parlour Christmas special will air on Dec. 20 at 8:30 pm ET/5:30 pm PT. Hosts Michael Jarvis and Carolyn Sinclair are joined by Canadian Opera stars Benjamin Butterfield, Peter Fisher and Jo-Anne Bentley. Immediately following, an HBO original movie, The Christmas Wife, airs at 9:30 pm ET/6:30 pm PT.

The Bravo!FACT Presents Christmas special airs on Dec. 21 at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT. This episode showcases holiday favourites including ‘The Voice of Father Christmas,’ featuring Dylan Thomas’ poetry as interpreted by Gordon Pinsent. Following at 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT is the Bravo!Videos Christmas special, which features songs from Il Divo, David Bowie, Bing Crosby and Sting.

On Dec. 22 at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT (repeating Dec. 25 at 5 pm ET/2 pm PT), Bravo! will premiere Celtic Angels at Christmas and, at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT, Christmas Together with the Barra Macneils.