Belshazzar's Feast

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Belshazzar's Feast

Experience the decadent grandeur of Walton's Belshazzar's Feast and the humour and drama of a new secular oratorio in this choral-orchestral spectacular.

The writing's on the wall for Belshazzar in Walton's monumental choral-symphony. The Old Testament story calls for music of 'savage splendour', as ferocious and indulgent as the king himself, and Belshazzar's Feast is easily the most sensational music for choir and orchestra ever written. For Hungarian Peter Eötvös, composing means enchanting his audience through sound, and his new oratorio (co-commissioned by the SSO and recently premiered in Salzburg) does exactly that. His chorus sings 'Hallelujas' quoted from different periods in music. His protagonist, the tenor, delivers prophecies with a stammer (the subtitle is literally 'Stammering Oratorio'). The secular text is a serious commentary on the world today – 'We put up fences everywhere...' – and yet the music is infused with humour. We can't wait to introduce this new work to Australian audiences!

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  • Principal Partner Emirates
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