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Royal Melbourne Philharmonic | Handel’s Messiah at Melbourne Town Hall

3 December 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm AEDT

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Handel’s Messiah

World record performance in Melbourne Town Hall

The 40th Sir Bernard Heinze Memorial Concert

“The Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra delivered another vibrant and polished reading. Music director Andrew Wailes conducted with precision and infectious energy urging the chamber-sized orchestra and 100-strong choir to some stirring renditions of the big choir pieces including the famous Hallelujah, Glory to God and For unto us a Child is born. Wailes, favouring brisk tempos, made for exciting listening…” – The Age

“Animation and attention to detail were distinctive features of this performance. The forward momentum established in the opening Sinfony never flagged. The RMP Choir sang with scores neatly closed by their sides for several key choruses, alert to the subtleties of dynamics and tempo in Wailes’ direction. And there were plenty of those to keep the audience absorbed as the work assumed an unexpected freshness…  This was an experienced choir, trained with painstaking care to form a disciplined ensemble… the final “Amen” chorus was greeted by such a prolonged standing ovation, with cheers and whistles usually heard at sporting events” – Classic Melbourne

Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir & Orchestra presents Handel’s iconic Messiah for the world record 244th time since 1853. The world’s most-loved oratorio, Messiah is famous for its sparkling arias, powerful choruses, and surging climaxes (including the magnificent Hallelujah! Chorus and the equally thrilling Amen! Chorus which concludes the work).

Featuring over 120 talented musicians from the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, the grand Town Hall organ, and a magnificent cast of outstanding Australian and international soloists, this concert promises to thrill as ever under the direction of RMP Chief Conductor Andrew Wailes – widely regarded as one of Australia’s foremost exponents of this great work.

The RMP’s annual performance of this masterpiece is a much-anticipated highlight of Melbourne’s concert calendar. Don’t miss being part of this wonderful musical tradition.

“Wailes made sure that the pace did not slacken… Wailes, who cuts a dapper, self-possessed figure on the podium, showed an impressive compulsion, driving his forces along with insistent power. It is hard to recall when this oratorio has been treated with such attention given to its dramatic potential; no singer – soloist or chorister – was given latitude to generate that fruity and orotund timbre familiar from performances of 20 years ago.”   – Clive O’Connell (The Age)


Andrew Wailes, conductor
Sara Macliver, soprano
Sally-Anne Russell, mezzo soprano
Kyle Steggal, tenor
Jeremy Kleeman, baritone
Stefan Cassomenos, harpsichord
Andrew Bainbridge, chamber and grand organ
Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir
Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra


Proudly sponsored by the City of Melbourne


Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne
Swanston Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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