Pastorela drama. Photo courtesy of Orchestra of New Spain.

Saint Monica Catholic Church is hosting an Epiphany concert, as part of the Orchestra of New Spain’s outreach to Hispanic community churches.

The concert is a costumed and narrated version of the Mexican Pastorela, or Shepherds Play, including villancicos (carols) from 18th century Spain and Mexico. Specifically, Padre Antonio Soler, Juan Gutierrez de Padilla and Juan Garcia de Zéspedes are featured composers.

Here’s how a press release describes the performance:

“Conceived as a musical play within a play, the narrative sets the King’s court entertainers trying to lift his troubled spirits with a hit show direct from the New World, La Pastorela. The action on stage is a costumed musical retelling of the Shepherds’ journey following the star to Bethlehem and the nativity, accompanied along the way with lively music (xacaras) and colorful stories of shepherds and country girls with chickens, all told through villancicos.”

The performance will be held 7 p.m. Jan. 11 at St. Monica Catholic Church, 9933 Midway Road. Admission is free, and donations are accepted.

The Orchestra of New Spain, created in 1989 in the Dallas Arts District, includes 36 members dedicated to research and performance of Spanish and New World baroque music.

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