An Evening with the MSO: Bendigo

Tuesday 26 May 2020 at 7:30pm

Ulumbarra Theatre


Due to the extended closure of our performance venues we regret that this concert will not proceed.

We are committed to ensuring the longevity and sustainability of the MSO, and we thank you for your patience, understanding and support during this time. We will, however, keep the music going! We invite all music-lovers to enjoy free online concerts via our YouTube channel.

If you hold a ticket to this performance, instead of requesting a refund, we ask you to consider donating the value of your ticket to enable us to live stream more free events and continue the mission of the MSO, to enrich lives through music. Please email our Box Office prior to the performance date at if you would prefer to do this and we thank you in advance if you choose to donate during this uncertain period. MSO gift cards (valid for 3 years) and fee-free exchanges are also available.

Refunds will automatically be processed to the credit card used to make the purchase on the scheduled concert date. Please note, refunds may take 10 business days to arrive in your account.

Further information can be found on the Cancelled and Rescheduled Concerts page


Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Dale Barltrop director / violin
Stephen Newton tenor


Purcell Fantasia for Strings
Holst St Paul’s Suite
Thomas Ades O Albion from Arcadiana
Vaughan Williams Five variants of Dives and Lazarus
Purcell The Fairy Queen (excerpts)
Britten Les Illuminations
Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending

About the performance

The crown jewels of British music!

MSO Concertmaster Dale Barltrop takes us on a journey through the greats of English composition.

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending is tainted by the sadness and sacrifice of war in a myriad of ways. Composed in 1914, the premiere was put on hold after the outbreak of World War I, the composer himself serving in France. The premiere was eventually given in 1921, when Vaughan Williams yearned for a time and a world that no longer existed. This nostalgia is reflected in the score. It is a musical response to overwhelming loss, created before Vaughan Williams ever knew how much he, and the world would need it.

Williams’ output is steeped in the stoicism, poise and reticence we’ve come to associate with the English disposition, and it’s something Barltrop champions throughout this program. Along with Lark is Williams’ Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus, based on a 16th century folk song. It is awash with the emerald green of the English countryside, lush and accommodating.

The giant of 20th century English composition, Benjamin Britten, is represented by Les Illuminations, his 1940 song cycle with text taken from a collection by French poet Arthur Rimbaud. Multi-musically-skilled MSO Double Bassist Stephen Newton performs this cycle as Tenor soloist.

The MSO also performs the St Paul’s Suite, by Gustav Holst, a composer most renowned for the legendary orchestral suite The Planets.

Running time

2 hours, including a 20-minute interval.

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