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Sheet Music Plus Cello

Comprehensive list of concerts and recitals in Melbourne

Below is a comprehensive listing of classical music concerts and performances in Melbourne. We believe this to be the most comprehensive listing of such performances in Melbourne available either on the web or in print.

You may also choose to list concerts featuring particular composers or instruments by using the drop-down menus below.
If you are looking for concerts on a particular date, select the date from the drop-down box below.

What's on in Melbourne

Free Organ Recital

Get away from the city bustle and enjoy a free organ recital in historic St Michael's Church.

1pm to 1.30pm, every Thursday

St Michael's Church, 120 Collins Street, Melbourne -

Free Enquiries: (03) 9654 5120
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Opera Australia's new production of Puccini's dramatically compelling opera Tosca produced by the Australian doyen of Shakespeare, John Bell. Bell has transplanted Tosca’s story to 1943, when Mussolini’s successors abandoned Rome to the invading German armies.  Michael Scott-Mitchell’s sets recreate the radiant, baroque interior of  Sant’Andrea della Valle church and, in cruel contrast, the grim, fascist architecture of Scarpia’s headquarters.

Reimagining the Puccini classic is not a task John Bell takes lightly. “I’m not an auteur type of director. I see my job as an interpreter, rather than a creator. I want to serve the opera. "World War II is within the memory of many of our audience: they either lived through it or their families did,” Bell explains. “They’ve seen the documentary footage, the movies and the books. I want the experience of our own lifetimes to bring the story into focus.” 

As the opera reaches its devastating end, Bell’s hope is that audiences won’t mourn for a tragedy of fiction. Rather, he hopes to capture the truth in the tale: a reality they recognise, that they see on the news: the everyday banality of evil.

Jacqueline Mabardi as Tosca, Diego Torre  as Cavaradossi, Claudio Sgura as Scarpia and Orchestra Victoria and the Opera Australia Chorus conducted by Andrea Molino.

Our rating - 4 Hats

Hat Hat Hat Hat  

7.30pm, Friday 5th & Wednesday 10th Dec, 1pm Saturday 13th Dec 2014; State Theatre, Melbourne


Purchase tickets from Opera Australia
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Don Pasquale

Opera Australia's new production of Donizetti's delightful comic opera Don Pasqaule.

Respectable man of a certain age seeks young lady for companionship and maybe more. Must like stamp collecting…
Tall, handsome 20-something, ready for romance. Dream girl enjoys riding scooters and drinking capuccinos. Innocent young lass, loves to walk and read, ideally hoping to meet someone who can keep her in style.
Young professional, medically trained, looking for business partner with a view to making a motza.

Four characters, four fine voices, and a fast-moving plot: this new production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale is as fresh and zingy as a lemon gelato. This production is full of surprises. There are the grand hissy-fits of Don Pasquale’s new wife –  played to the max by singer and comedienne Rachelle Durkin. Then there are the little details – an over-zealous footman, a snoozing gangster, a teddy-bear in the luggage. It all adds up to a fast-moving, laugh-a-minute night in the theatre, powered by Donizetti’s zippy score.

With Conal Coad as Don Pasquale, Rachelle Durkin as Norina, John Longmuir as Ernesto, Samuel Dundas as Dr Malatesta, Benjamin Rasheed as the Notary and Orchestra Victoria   with the Opera Australia Chourus conducted by Brian Castles-Onion. Directed by Roger Hodgman.

7.30pm, 3rd, 6th & 12th December 2014

Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre -

Purchase tickets from Opera Australia
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Opera Australia's production of Verdi's masterly comic opera Falstaff.

Verdi wrote Falstaff at the ripe old age of 77, and he brought to it a lifetime of stagecraft and a profound love of Shakespeare. He had already taken inspiration from Macbeth and Otello, and toyed with the idea of creating an opera based on King Lear, but he had never tried Shakespearean comedy. It was to be his final masterpiece.

With Warwick Fyfe as Falstaff, Jane Ede as Alice Ford, Michael Honeyman as Ford, Taryn Fiebig as Nanette, Jonathan Abernethy as Fenton, Dominica Matthews as Mistress Quickly, Jacqueline Dark as Meg Page, Graeme Macfarlane as Dr Caius, Kanen Breen as Bardolfo, Jud Arthur  as Pistola and Orchestra Victoria  with the Opera Australia Chourus conducted by Christian Badea. Directed by Simon Phillips.

Running time: 2 hours & 50 minutes, including two 20-minute intervals Performed in Italian with English subtitles.
7.30pm 4th, 9th & 11th Dec; 1pm 6th Dec 2014

Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre -

Purchase tickets from Opera Australia
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La Bohème - Opera on the lawn

Enjoy opera's most beautiful music and moving love story in the glorious surrounds of Rippon Lea House. CitiOpera presents their fully-staged production of Puccini's most popular opera, La Bohème with chorus and chamber orchestra. CitiOpera's innovative production of La Bohème takes the audience on a thrilling ride of comedic highs and tragic lows as Puccini's famous opera comes to life in and around the stage. Book online or call (03) 9656 9804 for any enquiries.

7.30pm 5th Dec, 2pm 6th Dec, 4pm 7th Dec 2014

Rippon Lea Estate, 192 Hotham Rd, Elsternwick -

Admission: General: $45 Child: $20 National Trust Members: $35
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Handel's Messiah

Gloriana Chamber Choir and Orchestra, outstanding soloists and dynamic conductor Andrew Raiskums present an inspired and exhilarating performance of Handel's masterpiece.

Full information at St Peter's Eastern Hill

7.30 to 10pm, Saturday 6th December 2014

St Peter's Eastern Hill, 15 Gisborne St, East Melbourne -

Tickets: $35 or $15 Student Rush at the door Inc. complimentary champagne & Christmas cake
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Mazda Opera In The Bowl

Sidney Myer Music Bowl

White Hat always looks forward to the free Opera in the Bowl which, combined with the Ballet in the Bowl and free orchestral concerts in February, have become iconic Melbourne events.

The 1914 program presented by Opera Australia with Orchestra Victoria with features soprano Natalie Aroyan, mezzo-soprano Sian Pendry,  tenor Diego Torre, and baritones Andrew Jones and Shane Lowrencev with conductor Anthony Legge and director Matthew Barclay. The program will include chorus pieces from La Traviata and Il Trovatore, popular opera arias from Carmen, Madama Butterfly and Turandot, and, of course, the most loved of all duets from The Pearl Fishers. This family-friendly, free event is designed to delight opera aficionados and novices alike.

Gates open from 4pm and the performance starts at 8pm. We're doing things a bit differently this year. Mazda Opera in the Bowl has always been free but attending is easier than ever. No need to book, just come along on the night!


Our rating - 5 Hats

Hat Hat Hat Hat Hat
Saturday 13th December 2014

Sidney Myer Music Bowl -

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Australian Ballet - Giselle

The Australian Ballet presents Giselle. Since its premiere in 1841, Giselle, with its score by Adam, has become a favourite ballet lovers. With Orchestra Victoria

March 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 & 23; 2015

Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre -

Book tickets from The Australian Ballet

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Madama Butterfly

Opera Australia's production of Puccini's much-loved opera Madama Butterfly.

Cio-Cio-San - Svetla Vassileva (until 16 May), Hyesoung Kwon; Pinkerton - James Egglestone (until 16 May), Martin Buckingham; Suzuki Sian Pendry; Sharpless - Michael Honeyman; Goro Graeme Macfarlane; Kate Pinkerton - Jane Ede; The Bonze - Jud Arthur; Yamadori - Samuel Dundas; Commissioner - Jonathan McCauley; Registrar - Dean Bassett and Orchestra Victoria and Opera Australia Chorus conducted by Guillaume Tourniaire. Directed by Moffatt Oxenbould.

Running time: approximately 2 hours & 45 minutes, including one 20-minute interval.
May 4, 6, 9, 12, 14, 16(m), 22 & 30; 2015

State Theatre, Melbourne Arts Centre -

Purchase tickets from Opera Australia
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Don Giovanni

Opera Australia's production of Mozart's great opera Don Giovanni.

Don Giovanni -Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Leporello - Shane Lowrencev, Donna Anna - Emma Matthews, Don Elvira - Nicole Car, Don Ottavio - John Longmuir, Zerlina - Taryn Fiebig, Masetto - Richard Anderson, Commendatore -  Jud Arthur  and Orchestra Victoria and Opera Australia Chorus conducted by Anthony Legge. Directed by David McVicar.

Running time: approximately 3 hours & 15 minutes, with one 25-minute interval. Performed in Italian with English surtitles.
May 11, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28 & 30(m); 2015

State Theatre, Melbourne Arts Centre -

Purchase tickets from Opera Australia
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Don Carlos

Opera Australia's production of Verdi's great opera Don Carlos.

The opera is testament to Verdi's ability to create light and dark in a single moment, and to sing it, you need a huge cast of extraordinary performers. Leading the cast of seventeen principal singers is Ferruccio Furlanetto, the most famous Philip II of our time, who recently sang the role in New York, London, and Vienna. With nearly 200 performers, this will be Opera Australia's biggest production since The Ring Cycle.

Elisabeth de Valois - Victoria Yastrebova, Princess Eboli - Milijana Nikolic, Don Carlos - Diego Torre, Rodrigo Count of Posa - José Carbó, Philip II - Giacomo Prestia, Grand Inquisitor - Daniel Sumegi, Frate - David Parkin, Tebaldo = Anna Dowsley, Voice from Heaven - Julie Lea Goodwin,  Lerma - Jonathan Abernethy, Herald - Simon Kim, Deputies - Pelham Andrews, Luke Gabbedy, Richard Anderson, Adrian Tamburini, Andrew Moran, Graeme Macfarlane  and Orchestra Victoria and Opera Australia Chorus conducted by Andrea Licata. Directed by Elijah Moshinsky.

Running time: approximately 4 hours & 20 minutes, including two 20-minute intervals. Performed in Italian with English surtitles.
May 20, 23(m), 25, 27 & 29: 2015

State Theatre, Arts Centre, Melbourne -

Purchase tickets from Opera Australia
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The Australian Ballet - The Dream

This triple bill presented by The Australian Ballet with Orchestra Victoria celebrates Frederick Ashton, one of the greatest influences on 20th-century ballet and the epitome of the English classical style.

The Dream (1964) Choreography Frederick Ashton; Music Felix Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream orchestrated by John Lanchbery

Monotones II (1965) Choreography Frederick Ashton; Music Erik Satie orchestrated by Claude Debussy and Alexis Roland-Manuel

Symphonic Variations (1946) Choreography Frederick Ashton; Directed, supervised and staged by Wendy Ellis Somes and Malin Thoors; Music César Franck Symphonic Variations

June 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 &13; 2015

Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre -

Book tickets from The Australian Ballet

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Woodend Winter Arts Festival

The Woodend Winter Arts Festival showcases music, literature and the visual arts in intimate historical venues over three pleasurable days.

6th to 8th June 2015 (tbc)

Woodend -

Enquiries: (03) 9842 9740
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Australian Ballet - The Sleeping Beauty

Fairies, bluebirds, a gilded court and a spell-shattering kiss: the world’s most extravagant ballet is awakened to new life by The Australian Ballet's Artistic Director David McAllister. The Sleeping Beauty, with its Rose Adage, its grand pas de deux, its charming variations and its enchanting Tchaikovsky score, is the zenith of ballet’s golden age. Keeping true to the spirit of the traditional Beauty, David McAllister will direct a production that gives thrilling rein to the talents of the entire company. Lavish sets and costumes by Gabriela Tylesova, whose work for ballet, opera and theatre includes the much-lauded designs for Love Never Dies, will evoke the splendour of the Imperial court and the magic of fairies, nymphs and visions. With Orchestra Victoria

Mon to Sat, Sept 15th to 26th 2015

Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre -

Book tickets from The Australian Ballet

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The Rabbits - World Premiere

John Marsden and Shaun Tan's haunting picture book tells a story we all know: a story of colonisation, civilisation and progress — a story about displacement, destruction and culture clash. And in that landscape, it tells a story of hope taking root. It's a story for young people, it's a story for old people, it's a story for all of us.

Opera Australia and Barking Gecko Theatre Company have assembled some of Australia's foremost creative talents to collaborate on a new opera for children and families. Gabriela Tylesova's kooky sets and costumes realise Tan's pictures in all of their mystical wonder, while Lally Katz has turned Marsden's spare poetry into an enchanting libretto. To write the score, Kate Miller Heidke: the butterfly-voiced, classically-trained indie-pop singer who is as at home on the charts as she is performing at the Met. As well as composing The Rabbits, Kate will perform in this production.

Running time: approximately 60 minutes, without interval.

Oct 9, 10(m), 10, 11(m), 11, 12 & 13 2015

Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse -

Purchase tickets from Opera Australia
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The Marriage of Figaro

Opera Australia's production of Mozart' s opera The Marriage of Figaro.

Mozart's classic comedy has been entertaining crowds for centuries, and between the witty, fast-moving libretto and the melodic, charming ensemble writing, it's not hard to understand why. David McVicar won acclaim for his Covent Garden production of The Marriage of Figaro, so we look forward to his new production for Australia.

Count Almaviva - Shane Lowrencev, Countess - Jane Ede (until 19 Nov) & Nicole Car, Susanna - Taryn Fiebig, Figaro -  Andrew Jones, Cherubino - Sian Pendry, Marcellina - Dominica Matthews, Bartolo - Richard Anderson, Don Basilio - Benjamin Rasheed, Don Curzio - Graeme Macfarlane, Barbarina - Eva Kong, Antonio - Adrian Tamburini, Bridesmaids - Annabelle Chaffey & Anna Yun and Orchestra Victoria and Opera Australia Chorus conducted by Anthony Legge. Directed by David McVicar.

Running time: approximately 3 hours & 20 minutes, including one 20 minute interval Performed in Italian with English surtitles.

November 12, 14(m), 17, 19, 20, 23, 25, 28

State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne -

Purchase tickets from Opera Australia
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The Elixir of Love

Opera Australia's production of Donizetti's opera The Elixir of Love.

Simon Phillip's much-loved production of The Elixir of Love is set in an Australian country town circa 1915.

"If you're doing a comic opera it's useful to get it as close to a contemporary world as you legitimately can," he says, "because that affords you the possibility of laughs of recognition as well as situation."

So how does the story of Elixir pan out down under? There's Adina, the squatter's daughter who wants to play the field before settling down. There's Nemorino, the lovestruck labourer who loves reading romantic poetry in his spare time. There's Belcore, the English officer who fancies having a fine young lady on his arm. Then there's the travelling larrikin, Dulcamara, who offers to solve everyone's problems with a drop of the good stuff.

As Phillips points out, the regiment of soldiers and all the talk of conscription mean that a modern adaptation would have jarred, but setting the story in Australia in 1915 provides a rich vein of comic material to add to the mix. It also inspired set designer Michael Scott-Mitchell and costume designer Gabriela Tylesova to come up with one of Opera Australia's favourite entrances when our heroine, Adina, rides into town on a corrugated iron horse.

Best of all, a knockout cast — Rachelle Durkin, Aldo Di Toro, Andrew Jones and Conal Coad — means that Donizetti's music shines as brightly as ever under the Antipodean skies.

Cast: Adina - Rachelle Durkin, Nemorino - Aldo Di Toro, Belcore - Andrew Jones (until 26 Nov) & Christopher Hillier, Dulcamara -Conal Coad, Giannetta - Eva Kong and Orchestra Victoria with Opera Australia Chorus conducted by Benjamin Northey.

Running time: approximately 2 hours & 20 minutes, including one 20-minute interval. Performed in Italian with English surtitles.

Nov 21, 24, 26, 28(m) 2015

State Theatre -

Purchase tickets from Opera Australia
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Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Orchestra Victoria

La Compañia

Sheet Music Plus Homepage

Chamber Orchestra - Surrey Hills:

Meets Tuesdays at Holy Trinity, Surrey Hills 7.45pm for rehearsals and holds up to 3 concerts year. String players are very welcome.

$65 and $45 term fees. Enquiries: 9877 5286

Beginner Strings

Feeder strings for the Surrey Hills Chamber Orchestra rehearse at Holy Trinity, Surrey Hills, Tuesdays at 6.15pm - 7.15pm. One years playing experience needed.

$40 term. Enquiries: 9434 2147

Forthcoming Events

These events are ones which have run in the past and we expect to run in the future. As yet we do not have confirmed details, dates and contact details. To be informed of those details when they become available you can subscribe to our newsletter "Great things to do in Melbourne".

The Port Fairy Spring Music Festival

A festival featuring classical and contemporary music.

October 2012 ?

Port Fairy -

Enquiries: (03) 5568 3030
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Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields

A festival of fine music in historic venues. Artistic director Sergio de Pieri.

January 2014 ?

Ballarat and district -

Enquiries: (03) 5333 1195
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Symphony Under The Stars

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2

With Stonnington Symphony and special guest Dave Graney this annual outdoor concert is always a highlight of summer in Stonnington's beautiful parks and gardens. Under the direction of Artistic Director, Roy Theaker, this year's event will feature a range of symphonic music in a program designed to excite, inspire and enjoy. Joining the orchestra for a cameo performance will be Dave Graney.

Pack a picnic basket and share a wonderful evening with your community orchestra and host, Sian Prior.

February 2014 ?

Malvern Gardens, Hight Street, Malvern -

free Enquiries: (03) 8290 1333
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Melbourne International Festival of Brass

An international festival initiated in 2003 and featuring a series of workshops. Further information at Melbourne International Festival of Brass.

September 2012 ?

Various venues around Melbourne -

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Opera in the Alps

Enjoy a relaxing evening of fine food, wine and classical favourites under the stars, in the picturesque grounds of LaTrobe at Beechworth.

January 2013?

Mayday Hills Oval, La Trobe at Beechworth -

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Choral@Montsalvat is a music-in-the-round choral festival. Fourteen choirs will sing a variety of music, including the Latin-American Missa Criolla and the African Missa Luba with colourful instrumental ensembles. The final concert will invite audience participation in the Vivaldi Gloria led by the two host choirs of the festival. $28 full, $22 concession, $12 child under 16, $65 family. Sunday May 3 2009, 12pm-5pm. Gates open at 9am.

May 2012 ?

Montsalvat, 7 Hillcrest Avenue, Eltham -

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Opera in the Market

For one night, the historic Queen Victoria Market is transformed into a theatre - the famous fruit & veg stalls will make way for front stalls as Opera in the Market takes centre stage. Enjoy the drama and spectacle of some of the world's favourite operas as you sample fine wines, and food which will be available to purchase preconcert and during interval.

February 2014 ?

Queen Victoria Market -

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These events are ones which have run in the past and we expect to run in the future. As yet we do not have confirmed details, dates and contact details. To be informed of those details when they become available you can subscribe to our newsletter "Great things to do in Melbourne".

White Hat works hard to make information on these pages current and correct. However with many thousands of entries, much of it changing daily, errors may occur. Always verify the information by using the phone numbers supplied with each event or venue before making a special trip or using this information for any other purpose. If you believe some information is incorrect, please contact us at corrections@whitehat.com.au and we will attempt to verify or change the information
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