Kicking off on January 11, the festival will bring together over one hundred amateur choristers from across Australia. They will engage in ten days of intensive rehearsal, with their efforts culminating in a not-to-be-missed concert spectacular, Light the Dark, on the evening of Saturday January 20 at Melbourne Town Hall.

The centrepiece of MIV’s stunning musical programme is an extremely rare performance of Edward Elgar’s resplendent and uplifting The Light of Life. This piece marks Elgar’s first ever full-scale work for orchestra, choir and soloists. Conducted by international award winner Patrick Burns, this concert is believed to be only the second ever performance of this stunning oratorio on Australian shores. It will feature renowned soloists Andrew Goodwin, Liane Keegan, Anna-Louise Coleman, Raphael Wong and be accompanied by the Melbourne Opera Orchestra, this is an event not to be missed.

When discussions the festival planning, Burns noted that he and the festival organisers “…worked together to create a programme of works to reflect and shine a light on the current times we face whilst also looking to provide a unique experience for both performers and audience alike.” Accompanying the Elgar is Vaughan Williams’ Towards the Unknown Regions, Parry’s I Was Glad, Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody and a new work by up and coming Australian composer Michael Winikoff.

MIV celebrates a rich history in Australia. 2018 will mark the 69th Intervarsity Festival supported by the Australian Intervarsity Choral Society Association, a network of university based choirs across the country. The festival travels from city to city each year, with Melbourne last hosting in 2012 and blowing the roof off of the Town Hall with a thundering and awe-inspiring performance of the Berlioz’s Requiem. While the festival attracts a huge number of student choristers, it also enjoys the support of a diverse array of musical groups. The 69th IV will see up to 20 choirs, both local and interstate, represented on stage.

Planning for MIV 2018 began three years ago, and even then the organisers knew they wanted to use the power of music to respond to the ever growing global uncertainty and adversity. “In responding to adversity through art, there is nothing more moving and powerful than the power of the human voice en masse,” remarks Patrick Burns when, “the Intervarsity movement is a wonderful example of what we can achieve together.”

For more information and to buy tickets for this not-to-be-missed concert, visit Light the Dark is supported by the Elgar Society.