Intelligent, Informed, Independent and (occasionally) Irreverent

Opera in the Bowl
Opera Australia
Free
Arvo Pärt & JS Bach
Estonian Choir
ACO
Lorelei
Victorian Opera
Malthouse Theatre
La Bohème
Opera Australia
Melbourne Arts Centre

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The White Hat Guide to

Classical Music in Melbourne

Classical Music in Melbourne

Classical Music

Concerts and performances
Performing venues


Some forthcoming performances in Melbourne:

Mazda Opera in The Bowl

Opera in The Bowl

It’s a Saturday evening in summer. You’re sitting in a park with family and friends, and a fabulous picnic dinner. The picture is complete when the glorious live music from Opera Australia begins.

Hear our brightest stars, under the stars, sing opera's most famous arias with the magnificent backing of Orchestra Victoria.

Dress up — or not — it's your night to enjoy the power of the human voice in the kind of communal, cultural celebration Melbourne loves best.



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Arvo Pärt & JS Bach

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

 The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir with the  Australian Chamber Orchestra (Richard Tognetti director) perform:

White Hat strongly recommends that anyone interested in choral music (or classical music in general) should go out of their way to hear this excellent programme. The world-renowned Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir together with the  Australian Chamber Orchestra alternate the mystical minimalism of the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt with the intricate and muscular polyphony of Bach's motets. Combing these two world's is Pärt's Toccata for strings from his Collage on B-A-C-H. The programme is rounded up with an offering form contemporary Estonian composer Galina Grigorjeva and Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe's Djilile, inspired by Indigenous song.

Our rating - 5 Hats

Hat Hat Hat Hat Hat


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Lorelei

Opera meets cabaret in this new show created from a concept by Ali McGregor with music by Julian Langdon, Casey Bennetto and Gillian Cosgriff and libretto by Casey Bennetto and Gillian Cosgriff.

This show presented by Victorian Opera features Ali McGregor, Dimity Shepherd and Antoinette Halloran as the three Lorelei (or sirens) whose mission is to seduce men onto the rocks of their destruction.

Sung in English, this production contains coarse language and adult themes. Recommended for ages 15+.



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La Bohème

Puccini's La Bohème is justifiably one of the most popular operas in the repertoire, and White Hat can thoroughly recommend this production from Opera Australia.

With Maija Kovalevska as Mimi, Yosep Kang as Rodolfo, Jane Ede as Musetta, Christopher Tonkin as Marcello and Richard Anderson as Colline together with the Opera Australia Chorus and Orchestra Victoria conducted by Pietro Rizzo.



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Lixsania and the Labyrinth

Lixsania Fernandez

The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra with Paul Dyer (Artistic Director), Lixsania Fernandez (Cuba) viola da gamba and  Shaun Lee-Chen baroque violin perform

  • Corelli, A. Scarlatti, Marais Folia pasticcio
  • Locatelli Violin Concerto in D 'Il laberinto armonico', Op. 3 No. 12
  • Vivaldi Concerto for 2 violins & viola da gamba, RV 578
  • Graun Concerto for Viola da Gamba in G Major
  • Vivaldi Sinfonia al Santo Sepolcro, RV 169
  • Duchiffre Tango from Concerto for 2 Violas da Gamba

Charismatic Lixsania Fernandez’s energetic viola da gamba leads the Brandenburg in this tantalizing twist on the baroque. Her passionate performances on this iconic baroque instrument bring a vibrant energy to Vivaldi and Graun before detouring for a spirited Tango. Brandenburg's Concertmaster Shaun Lee-Chen performs Locatelli’s infamous Violin Concerto in D, The Harmonic Labyrinth. The immense technical challenge of this work was hinted at by the composer when he inscribed the score with ‘easy to enter, difficult to exit’.

White Hat suggests that if you think of baroque music as being stuffy and boring, this could well be the concert to change your mind.



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Tognetti's Beethoven

Richard Tognetti has been  chosen by White Hat as one of our 100 Important Living Australians. To find out why, we suggest you make your way to this concert.

For this performance of Beethoven's Fifth, the ACO will expand its forces, and also showcase another outstanding signature work, Beethoven’s mighty Violin Concerto. 

It has been some 25 years since Richard Tognetti gave his first performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the ACO back in 1993, and he last performed it with the Orchestra 11 years ago.



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Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Wagner’s beloved comedy Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg takes a joyful look at the art of music itself: what is wrong, what is right, and who decides.

The mastersingers are holding a high-stakes singing competition, and Walther needs to win. He’s an outsider, an upstart, and he doesn’t know the rules. But to win the hand of his beloved Eva, he must sing the greatest song ever made.

Enter Hans Sachs: mastersinger, cobbler, and the beating human heart of this opera. He offers the newcomer all his warmth and wisdom, knowing it will cost his own chance at love. 
Wagner’s score demands a huge cast of exciting voices. Stefan Vinke performs as the upstart Walther, alongside Shane Lowrencev as Hans Sachs, Natalie Aroyan as Eva and Warwick Fyfe in the wonderful role of Sixtus Beckmesser.

After his triumphs with the Ring Cycle, Pietari Inkinen returns to Australia to conduct the magnificent score for Opera Australia. Hear the Wagnerian forces of Orchestra Victoria and special guests in these performances, exclusive to Melbourne.

Kasper Holten’s extravagant staging for the Royal Opera House celebrates change: how the deepest of traditions can give way to something powerful and new. The sets and costumes are elaborate and spectacular.

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is a glowing testament to the wonder of human artistry.



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Summer Recomposed

Miki Tsunoda - violin

White Hat suggests that if you might be interested in classical music that is viewed through a contemporary popular lens but without being dumbed down to the simple mindless techno beat and restricted harmonic palette found in most classic remixes, then this concert may be an ear-opener.

The young performers of Momentum Ensemble (part of the Australian Youth Orchestra) directed by Ariel Zuckermann with Miki Tsunoda (solo violin) will perform Max Richter's highly acclaimed adaptation of Vivaldi's Summer Violin Concerto from the Four Seasons in which Richter uses phases, loops and other devices to reimagine the work.

Hindemith's Kammermusik views music of the classical period through the lens of early 20th century neo-classicism, while the concert ends with one of the major works of late 18th century classical music - Haydn's Drum Roll Symphony.



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Benedetti Elschenbroich Grynyuk Trio

Musica Viva present the Benedetti Elschenbroich Grynyuk Trio with Nicola Benedetti (violin), Leonard Elschenbroich (cello) and Alexei Grynyuk (piano).

In a break with conventional piano trio ensembles, these busy soloists often include works for accompanied violin and cello in their recitals. White Hat suggests that aficionados of the piano trio repertoire will not be left out and will feel well rewarded by their rendition of the Ravel Piano Trio.



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Sonatas for Strings

Australian Chamber Orchestra

The Australian Chamber Orchestra with Richard Tognetti (director and violin) perform:

This program unites a collection of pieces that forego an explanatory narrative in return for a rich vein of timeless beauty.

William Walton’s Sonata for Strings is a seemingly effortless interweaving of parts, while fellow Brit, Sir Edward Elgar’s Serenade for Strings holds a special place in the heart of the ACO and it remains a favourite for musicians and audiences alike. 

Peter Sculthorpe’s first Sonata for Strings, Ravel’s Two Hebrew Melodies and Debussy’s The Girl with the Flaxen Hair and The Interrupted Serenade complete this offering of music for string orchestra



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Beethoven & Prokofiev

Australian Chamber Orchestra

The Australian Chamber Orchestra with Lorenza Borrani (director & violin) perform:

Over the years, White Hat has found that the Australian Chamber Orchestra has consistently brought us some of the most thoughtfully constructed and thought-provoking concerts on the Australian scene. This concert is no exception.

Beethoven's late string quartets strain to break the limitations of their limited forces and gain a useful new perspective when occasionally heard in arrangement for string orchestra. Similarly Prokofiev's Violin Sonata No.1 provides different insights when the piano is replaced by string orchestra. As an interlude between these powerful works, Bulgarian-British composer Dobrinka Tabakova’s Such Different Paths offers a radiant interlude evoking life’s journey.

Fiery and charismatic Italian violinist Lorenza Borrani, who delighted audiences on her last tour here in 2016, returns to lead this program of emotionally rich music.



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Free Organ Recital
Get away from the city bustle and enjoy a free organ recital in historic St Michael's Church. ..
Woodend Winter Arts Festival
The Woodend Winter Arts Festival showcases music, literature and the visual arts in intimate historical venues over three pleasurable days. ..

Selected Sheet Music

Cover tiny file look inside Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Arranged by Merle J. Isaac. Masterworks; SmartMusic; String Orchestra. Highland/Etling String Orchestra. Baroque; Masterwork Arrangement. Conductor Score. 28 pages. Published by Highland/Etling (AP.12756S).
Cover tiny file look inside Brandenburg Concerto No 3 - BWV 1048 Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Baroque Period, Repertoire, Recital. Score, Set of Parts. 66 pages. Published by Arte Nova Music Lab (S0.43295).
Cover tiny file look inside Brandenburg Concertos 1-3 BWV 1046/1047/1048 Eulenburg Audio+Score Series. Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Eulenburg Audio+Score (Pocket Scores + CD). Classical. Softcover study score and CD. 124 pages. Eulenburg Edition #EAS102. Published by Eulenburg Edition (HL.49044001).
Cover tiny file look inside 6 Brandenburg Concertos Study Score. Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Study Score. Concerto, Baroque, Classical. 274 pages. Ricordi #PR733. Published by Ricordi (HL.50086400).
Cover tiny file look inside Goldberg Variations Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Edited by Kurt Soldan. This edition: Urtext. Baroque. Collection. With fingerings and introductory text. BWV 988. 52 pages. Edition Peters #EP4462. Published by Edition Peters (PE.EP4462).
Cover tiny file look inside Goldberg Variations Schirmer's Library of Musical Classics. Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Edited by Ralph Kirkpatrick. Piano Large Works. Baroque. Collection. With performance notes and introductory text. BWV 988. 83 pages. G. Schirmer #LB1980. Published by G. Schirmer (HL.50481953).
Cover tiny file look inside J.S.Bach Orchestral Suite no.1 in C major BWV 1066 - Complete Piano version Composed by Bach Johann Sebastian. Arranged by Santino Cara. Baroque Period. Sheet Music Single. 24 pages. Published by Santino Cara (S0.59589).
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