When it comes to Christ­mas cheer, just try find­ing some­one more cheer­ful than Kate Ce­ber­ano. The Carols by Can­dle­light per­former spoke with Guy Davis.

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are very much a who’s who on the lo­cal en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try.

And as be­fits some­one of her great tal­ent and high stand­ing in the busi­ness, Ce­ber­ano is some­thing of a reg­u­lar when Christ­mas time comes around.

“ I’ve sung carols sev­eral times in both Mel­bourne and Syd­ney, ap­pear­ing on both net­works,” she said. “ You kind of get handed back and forth, but they’re both re­ally lovely events. And they have dif­fer­ent en­er­gies be­cause the two cities are very dif­fer­ent.”

Quite frankly, though, Ce­ber­ano is happy sing­ing Christ­mas carols any­where. “ I’m to­tally im­par­tial as to whether it’s Mel­bourne or Syd­ney – I just like Christ­mas,” she said. “ I get car­ried away with all things Christ­mas, so I’m a bit of a mess. A bit of a Christ­mas tragic, re­ally.”

This year, Mel­bourne’s the lucky city, with Ce­ber­ano join­ing an all-star line-up on the Nine Net­work’s Christ­mas Eve cel­e­bra­tion Carols by Can­dle­light. The event is hosted by To­day’s Karl Ste­fanovic and Lisa Wilkin­son, with Ricki-Lee, Rhonda Burch­more, Julie Good­win, Humphrey B. Bear and the casts of Hair­spray and Mary Pop­pins ( to name just a few) chim­ing in with a lit­tle Christ­mas cheer.

While un­de­ni­ably a fan of the sea­son’s songs – she has re­leased an al­bum ap­pro­pri­ately ti­tled Merry Christ­mas – Ce­ber­ano ad­mits that the more tra­di­tional carols aren’t her first choice, which ac­tu­ally works out well given that per­form­ers can get a bit se­lec­tive around this time of year.

“ Oh my gosh, the fur and tin­sel starts to fly!” she said. “ There are, of course, the bet­ter known carols and songs that ev­ery­one is vy­ing for, such as Have Your­self a Merry Lit­tle Christ­mas or White Christ­mas.

“ But I kind of run along the out­side, try­ing to get my hands on Santa Baby or Jin­gle Bell Rock – give me the kitsch ones!”

But while her taste in tunes runs to the slightly off-cen­tre, Ce­ber­ano is quick to point out that her per­for­mance will be strictly tra­di­tional, in keep­ing with the feel of the event.

“ I don’t think Carols by Can­dle­light is the time or the place to get too wacky,” she said. “ It’s the one thing that is kind of the same, year in, year out. And there’s some­thing very re­as­sur­ing about that. I don’t think Christ­mas carols should be over­sung ei­ther, which makes me re­ally old-fash­ioned. With carols you’re invit­ing peo­ple to join in, so if you’re too am­bi­tious with your sing­ing it kind of spoils the mood.”

So ex­pect the tremen­dous voice of Kate Ce­ber­ano to help you ring in a lit­tle Christ­mas cheer. But don’t ex­pect this “ Christ­mas tragic” to re­veal just what she’ll be per­form­ing un­til the night. It just wouldn’t be right to do so … why, it’d be like open­ing your presents on Christ­mas Eve.

“ Are you kid­ding? Are you crazy? That’s blas­phemy! You can’t do that!” she protested.

“ Be­sides,” she added with a smile, “ how could Santa have got your presents there by that time any­way?”

Christ­mas cheer: The line-up in­cludes Kate Ce­ber­ano, Karl Ste­fanovic and Lisa Wilkin­son, An­thony Cal­lea, the cast and Rob Mills.

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