Handel’s Messiahhas become something of a Christmas tradition, with performances around the country throughout December. Joseph Nolan, Artistic Director of the St George’s Concert Series in Perth, has programmed Bach’s Christmas Oratorioinstead. The story will be told by leading soloists and the singers of the St George’s Cathedral Consort, with an orchestra led by Paul Wright. The concert is directed by Nolan, who spoke to Limelightabout Bach’s magnificent, festive masterwork.

Joseph Nolan conducts in Perth Concert Hall. Photograph © Rebecca Mansell, courtesy of WASO

Every year we see Handel’s Messiahperformed around the county at Christmas. Why did you choose to program Bach’s Christmas Oratorio?

Precisely as there as so many Handel Messiahs happening around the country. It is a wonderful tradition and I am certainly very happy for patrons to choose to see both Bach and Handel! However, if patrons must choose, I of course recommend that they come and experience Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. It is so rarely performed in comparison to Handel’s Messiahbecause the scale of the work is very significant, yet it is perfectly suited to the Christmas season. Although Messiahdoes deal with Christmas in...