With its sea of candles, exceptionally-talented musicians and wide-ranging selection of concerts, Candlelight enchants and enthralls audiences all year round. But there’s just a little something extra in the air come Christmas time that truly brings the sensational series of live-music experiences into its own.
This December and New Year season, Melbourne will be ho-ho-hosting a number of Candlelight concerts and, frankly, if you’re looking for a way to make this festive season a memorable one, then adding a Candlelight concert to your Christmas calendar will provide you with an unforgettable experience.
Whether on your own, with a mate, a group of friends, or a special someone, there’s a Candlelight concert to entertain everybody. Take a look below to see what’s coming up and which Candlelight will spark your Christmas spirit.
Christmas by Candlelight
It’s the most wonderful time of year and Candlelight is popping off with Holiday Specials this Christmas.
The first takes place at the Athenaeum Theatre on Saturday 10 December with Eclective Strings taking to the stage to perform selections of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker including Arabian Dance, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Waltz of the Flowers, and March. They’ll be contrasted with the likes of Bobby Helms’ Jingle Bell Rock, Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You, and O Holy Night.
Then, on Wednesday 21 December at the heritage-listed Meat Market the string quartet returns to the stage with a mammoth program of Christmas songs including carols, traditional numbers, film favourites and contemporary hits. From Let It Go to Joy To The World, Santa Baby to Hark The Herald Angels Sing, they’ll all be reimagined for strings.
But if classical isn’t quite your jam, all good because Candlelight will hit different on Friday 23 December with jazz ensemble, Orlando Combo. They’ll be jiving with the likes of Winter Wonderland, Jingle Bell, Cool Yule, and What A Wonderful World.
Go classical this Christmas
At Secret Melbourne, we’re no classical music experts. However, we have seen that there is a certain something about classical music that enraptures the audiences at Candlelight. Something has to because the music of the classical music greats always returns to grace the candlelit stages dotted about the city.
This December, Candlelight Ballet adds pliés and pirouettes to the lyrical melodies of Tchaikovsky so Melburnians can get a taste of the magic of some of the world’s most famous ballets.
Soundtrack Christmas your way
Although Candlelight began with the classics, it has since turned contemporary to cover genres including pop, rock and indie as well as film scores from famed movie composers like the Studio Ghibli musical genius Joe Hisaishi as well as the award-winning Hans Zimmer.
This summer season, Candlelight’s schedule includes tributes to Queen, Adele, Jay Chou, Taylor Swift and Radiohead where their chart-topping hits are reimagined for string quartets as well as piano-cello duos. It’s your favourite songs but not as you’ve heard them before.
Amy Winehouse is also getting a tribute thanks to Candlelight and the Luminosity Trio—vocalist Elly Poletti, pianist Joe McEvilly and saxofonist Cheryl Durongpisitkul. The candlelit performance takes place in the more intimate theatre 2 at the Athenaeum on Friday 9 December.
Merry Christmas in a beautifully-lit venue
At Candlelight, the candles surround the musicians, sway as if they’re dancing to the notes being played, and illuminate spaces unlike you’ve seen before. From North Melbourne’s Meat Market to the Athenaeum and Astor Theatres as well as SEA LIFE Aquarium and St James Old Cathedral, when will be the next time you get the chance to sit back in the light of hundreds of candles in one of these spaces?
Give the gift of Candlelight
The Candlelight gift card is the gift of a candlelit, live-music experience. They’re immensely popular and are capable of captivating all thanks to the broad range of genres that Candlelight celebrates. Whether the gift card is for a mate, a date, or for the family, they’ll be sure to find a concert that shines bright and catches their eye now or in the new year.
The atmosphere of hundreds of candles filling some of the city’s most beautiful and unique venues is a wondrous spectacle that amplifies the festive feeling. And, for the length of the 60-minute performance, the candle-music combo creates a parallel realm where audiences are carried away by each and every note played.
With tickets from as little as $30 depending on the concert, Candlelight is a night out that almost anybody can enjoy. And at Christmas, its hundreds of candles will spark the festive feeling in the air.