Johann Sebastian Bach’s seasonal music-fest is coming to town this December. “The Christmas Oratoriotells the familiar Nativity tale, but it’s much more ad hoc than the St Matthew Passion, where you’ve got a linear story that a narrator is belting out at you,” wrote the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Artistic Director Richard Tognetti in Limelightahead of the ACO’s performance of the work in 2013. “Nor is it very similar to Bach’s other large-scale masterpiece, the B Minor Mass, which can rend you apart emotionally. The Christmas Oratoriois more ephemeral, more exquisite, more comforting.”

The ACO’s performances were such a success that four years later, Tognetti and his band are doing it all over again. Returning to Australia (along with the Choir of London) is English tenor Nicholas Mulroy, who will reprise his role as the Evangelist. “He is a cogent story-teller, with a radiant sound that just gets more ravishing as it gets higher,” wrote Harriet Cunningham in the Sydney Morning Herald review of the 2013 concert. “It is hard
to imagine anyone singing it better.”

Nicholas Mulroy, Christmas Oratorio