British actor Michael York will join The Mormon Tabernacle Choir as the narrator at this year's Christmas concert. York will read the account of the birth of Jesus Christ from the book of Luke, a tradition at the concert, and will share a Christmas story, another part of the program which has become a highlight.
"We are honored to have such a distinguished actor to join with us," says choir director Mack Wilberg. "He has appeared in movies, television, on the stage. His talents will add a lot to our program."
Born in Britain and educated at Oxford, York is familiar to audiences around the world, with an entertainment career spanning 46 years. His more-than-60 screen credits include such movies as "The Taming of the Shrew," "Romeo and Juliet," "Cabaret," "The Three Musketeers," "Murder on the Orient Express," "Logan's Run" and "The Island of Dr. Moreau."
York has appeared on a variety of television programs, including "The Forsyte Saga," "Great Expectations," "The Simpsons," and most recently in the 100th episode of "Law and Order: Criminal Intent." He received an Emmy nomination for his role in "The Lot."
York has worked in both regional theater and on Broadway, and toured the United States as King Arthur in "Camelot." His distinctive voice has also been heard on more than 90 audio books and film narrations. He has written two novels, a book for Shakespearean actors, and an autobiography titled "Accidentally on Purpose."
York has been to Utah a time or two, "and he says he is looking forward to coming again," says Scott Barrick, general manager of the choir. "The planets really aligned for us to get someone of his stature and background."
This will be York's first appearance with the choir, "but when we approached his agent, he was very familiar with the choir and what it has done," says Barrick. "And when we asked if York would read the account from Luke, we found out he just finished an audio program, "The World of Promise," based on the Bible. So he is very familiar with the material."
York will join "American Idol" finalist David Archuleta, who was announced earlier as a guest for the Christmas concert. The concert will take place Dec. 16-18 at the Conference Center, with a special "Music & The Spoken Word" extended program on Sunday. Tickets are free but have all been distributed, although some standby tickets will be available on nights of the concerts.
A very limited number of tickets are available for a special "simulcast" of the concert, which will feature live video in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building Legacy Theater. They are available only online at lds.org/events.