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Saturday 27 November 2021

7:30pm at Hamer Hall

Concert Cancelled

Due to ongoing travel restrictions, this performance has been cancelled. We were so excited to welcome Sir James Macmillan to Melbourne, and hope to see him here soon.

Affected ticket holders have been contacted by the MSO Box Office; we thank you for your patience and understanding.


Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Sir James MacMillan conductor
MSO Chorus
Warren Trevelyan-Jones
chorus master


MacMillan Christmas Oratorio

About this performance

Scottish composer 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. “There are… intermittent moments of joyfulness and the childhood excitement and abandon of Christmas at various points,” says MacMillan.

COVIDSafe information

Arts Centre Melbourne indoor venues are operating at 100% capacity so you may be seated next to other patrons. The MSO and Arts Centre Melbourne strongly recommends the wearing of masks where 1.5m distancing is difficult to achieve, however wearing a mask is no longer a requirement for entry.

Important venue information:

  • QR code registration via a mobile device is required on arrival. We encourage you to download the Service Victoria app prior to your visit to ensure a faster check-in time.
  • Hamer Hall foyer bars will be open pre-show and if there's an interval involved.
  • Personal water bottles will be permitted inside and filtered tap water will be available for self-service at the foyer bars
  • No Cloak Room
  • No Box Office sales or transactions, only available for trouble shooting or ticket collection

Orchestra safety on stage
The safety of our musicians, staff and audience remain the highest priority as we return to the post-COVID concert hall. In conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria and Arts Centre Melbourne, the MSO has begun rapid-result, asymptomatic testing for all members of the Orchestra and on-stage production staff. As such, you may notice that our musicians are not wearing masks while performing, and that they may be spaced more closely together than previously.

Stay tuned. Sign up.