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Due to unforeseen circumstances, this performance will not proceed as scheduled


Saturday 16 December 2023

7:30pm at Hamer Hall

Performance cancelled

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event can no longer proceed as planned. Ticket holders will be contacted by the MSO Box Office.

If you need to get in touch with us, please contact our Box Office on (03) 9929 9600 (Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm) or


Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Sir James MacMillan conductor
Kathryn Radcliffe soprano
Christopher Tonkin baritone
MSO Chorus
Warren Trevelyan-Jones chorus director


James MacMillan Christmas Oratorio

Australian premiere of an MSO Co-commission with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.

About this performance

Celebrate the season with a new landmark work from one of the greatest composers of our time.

Scottish composer Sir James MacMillan’s Christmas Oratorio was written throughout 2019 and completed in early January 2020. With initial performances cancelled due to global lockdowns, this Oratorio bursts happily back onto stages this Christmastime.

Called a “rich and prodigious invention” by the Financial Times, MacMillan’s Oratorio is a full-scale nativity work that collates texts from a number of different sources: The King James Bible, Latin hymnals, and poems from 16th and 17th century poets Robert Southwell, John Donne, and John Milton.

MacMillan’s score is impressively cast – soprano and baritone soloists will feature in front of the full MSO Chorus, with the Orchestra boasting double woodwind, brass and percussion, as well as the joyful strains of harp and celeste.

The composer has sources of inspiration in many places for this large-scaled work: from the rhythms of secular Christmas carols to the stately solo arias of traditional oratorio.

Duration: approx. 2 hours including interval

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