“Shout for joy!” and celebrate Christmas with Bach.



A digital program book will be available to download on this page a week prior to the concert. A limited number of printed program books will be available for $10 each at the concert.


Come to the Northern Foyer from 1pm to hear 2MBS Fine Music presenter Michael Field speak about Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Grab a drink at the bar and enjoy this free, 30-minute talk, with plenty of time to find your seat for the 2pm concert.

Seating is on the carpeted stairs in the Northern Foyer.
Access the Northern Foyer via the new tunnel from the Southern Foyer.

  • Saturday 16 December: 1:15PM-1:45PM
  • Concert Hall, Northern Foyer stairs

2023 Pre-Concert Talks are made possible with the support of 2MBS Fine Music.

Bach’s Christmas Oratorio

When JS Bach was at the height of his powers he created a monumental musical work for the Christmas season. Although he called it an oratorio, it was in six parts – one cantata for each of the first six days of Christmas. His listeners would have heard these in church services, with prayers, a sermon and congregational singing. But the genius of the Christmas Oratorio is that the music works brilliantly on a larger scale – tracing the Christmas narrative in satisfying style.

In this concert we’ll perform the first three cantatas, beginning with thundering drums, trumpets and the thrilling sound of exultant voices lifted in praise: “Shout for joy!” The sweet pastoral sounds of flutes and oboes colour part two and its tender scenes in the lowly stable. Festive colours return as the shepherds arrive to witness the Lord of Heaven. In Bach’s hands the mystery of the Nativity finds perfect expression in glorious music.

Conducted by Brett Weymark, the finely tuned voices of our Chamber Singers and the Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra find an impeccable balance between baroque expression and epic musical effect in this uplifting Christmas event.

Saturday 16 December 2023 at 2pm
Sydney Opera House Concert Hall


JS BACH Christmas Oratorio:
Parts 1–3


Brett Weymark conductor
Penelope Mills soprano
Margaret Plummer mezzo-soprano
Andrew Goodwin tenor
Christopher Richardson bass-baritone
Chamber Singers
Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra


Premium $129 | A $105 | B $85 | C $60 | D $45
Concessions $116 | A $92| B $75 | C $55 | D $41
Under 30 $30
A booking fee of $8.95 per transaction applies.



Up-to-date COVID guidelines will be available a few weeks before the concert. Please note that we regularly update our guidelines based on health advice available at the time.