Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Sir James MacMillan conductor
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.