One of the country’s most lauded tenors – and one of Ballarat’s favourite sons – is on his way home to reinfect the city with Christmas cheer.
David Hobson is well-known for leading both Melbourne and Sydney’s Carols by Candlelight events with his superb operatic voice.
He said he understood many Australians – blasted by jingles in supermarkets and shopping centres throughout December – now had Christmas carol fatigue.
However, he said he believed he could help reignite a passion for carols by showing people how beautiful the traditional songs could be when they were “done properly”.
“The trouble is they’ve become so processed these days, you hear them ad finitum in shopping centres. But when you hear it done properly or done with the right reason behind it, there’s a reason these songs are so popular – because they’re really good,” he said.
“There’s been so much great music written for the Christmas season by classical composers, which for some reason really pulls at the heart strings of our tribe. Whether you be religious or not, it brings about a yearning to be home and also to target the memory.”
Hobson grew up in Ballarat before being swooped up by the Victoria State Opera and by what is now Opera Australia.
The celebrated singer has worked with the likes of Anthony Warlow and the San Francisco Opera, and has even sung the national anthem for the AFL Grand Final.
But this month he will return to his roots with a Christmas concert at St Patrick’s Cathedral, alongside rising-star soprano Georgia Wilkinson and accompanied by concert pianist Rhodri Clarke.
The concert will feature music from Bach and the Christmas Oratorio, to traditional carols, modern Australian songs and Bing Crosby favourites such as White Christmas.
“It’s like a journey through Christmas music more than anything,” Hobson said.
“It’s really combining lovely classical music as the title suggests, doing that lovely sacred music by Bach and Handel and that strong classical thing...but also more contemporary seasonal music that fits really well.”
From Bach to Bing will be held December 14 at St Patrick’s Cathedral from 7pm.
Tickets from $45 to $55, available from www.hermaj.com