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Osmond brings ‘A Symphonic Christmas’ to Powers Auditorium

Marie Osmond knows a thing or two about Christmas shows.

She shared the stage with Andy Williams, the king of the television Christmas special, before she started kindergarten. She hosted her own holiday-themed television shows with brother Donny Osmond when she was barely old enough to drive.

Osmond spent many Decembers overseas entertaining the troops for USO shows with Bob Hope, whom she called, “My second dad.”

All of those experiences help shape “Marie Osmond: A Symphonic Christmas,” which she brings Dec. 8 to Powers Auditorium, where she will be accompanied by the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra.

After the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Osmond said during an interview that she believes audiences needed some old-fashioned Christmas cheer.

“The time is right now to hold onto the past, the things that brought safety and joy,” she said. “The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, people love them and it’s great to be able to do that, use local symphonies.”

Leading the orchestra will be Brent Havens, who created “The Music of Queen” orchestral tour that played the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre in its opening season.

Osmond promised an eclectic mix of music.

“We’re gonna shake ’em up a little bit,” she said. “It’s not going to be the same old, same old.”

That’s something she has done most of her career. While her brothers rose to fame on the pop charts, she initially found success as a country singer, with “Paper Roses” topping the Billboard country chart in 1973 and crossing over as a top 5 single on the Billboard Hot 100. She had several country hits in the 1980s as well, including “Meet Me in Montana” (with Dan Seals), “There’s No Stopping Your Heart,” “Read My Lips: and “You’re Still New to Me” (with Paul Davis).

The woman who always was a little bit country is a little bit operatic on her latest release. “Unexpected” has Osmond singing operatic arias like “Nessun Dorma” from Giacomo Puccini’s “Turandot” and “Ombra mai fu” from George Frideric Handel’s “Serse” as well as Broadway favorites from “West Side Story,” “Into the Woods” and “Les Miserables.” “Unexpected” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Classical Crossover chart.

“My brothers were sending me texts — ‘Man, you kicked our butts, sis. Beat all our records.'”

The success of the album has her thinking about ending her recording career.

“I don’t think I can top it,” she said.

She doesn’t plan to call it quits to live performing, but the 63-year-old singer doesn’t picture herself wanting to still be on stage when she’s 80. Osmond said she has grandchildren she wants to enjoy.

And there are other demands on her time. After doing Christmas movies for Lifetime in 2020 (“The Christmas Edition”) and 2021 (“A Fiance for Christmas,” on which she also was an executive producer), Osmond said she took a break from acting to focus attention on Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a charity she co-founded in 1983.

“We’ve raised $8 billion (since its inception) and helped over 300 million children,” she said. “That’s what I spent the time on this year.”

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