St James’ Celebrates Bicentenary With Haydn’s Creation

The Choir of St James’ Image Nick Gilbert

The Choir and Orchestra of St James’ celebrate the bicentenary of Sydney’s oldest church with  performance of Haydn’s life-affirming masterpiece, The Creation.

Just as this oratorio celebrates the creation of the world as depicted in the Book of Genesis, this performance marks the beginning of the bicentenary celebrations of Sydney’s oldest church, St James’ King Street.

After his visits to London, Haydn was inspired by the larger ‘oratorio’ choral works of Handel, such as Israel in Egypt, and it is speculated that Haydn wanted to employ the same mature classical style in his famed oratorio. The Creation was first performed in Vienna in 1798 when Haydn was already in his sixties. It was a such a success that the invitation-only aristocratic audience had to be brought under control by the police.

Excerpts of ‘Creation’ were first performed in Australia from as early as 1834, just 10 years after St James’ King Street was consecrated. Directed by Warren Trevelyan-Jones, The Choir and Orchestra of St James’ are joined by soloists Amy Moore, Andrew Goodwin, and Simon Meadows.

The Choir of St James’, directed by Warren Trevelyan-Jones, enjoys a reputation of being one of the finest choirs in Australia.  It is one of the oldest musical establishments in the country and is linked to the earliest days of the colony of New South Wales; some of its early members were convicts. The Choir maintains a schedule of regular weekly choral services, Sunday Cantata Services, Orchestral Masses, and its own Subscription Concert Series. It has a large and varied repertoire encompassing music from the Middle Ages to the contemporary, and it is committed to supporting new Australian works, including compositions written by past and present members of the Choir. Past collaborations include working with Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort & Players, The Tallis Scholars, The King’s Singers, Opera Australia, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Baroque Brass, The Australian Haydn Ensemble, and soloists Yvonne Kenny, Greta Bradman and Teddy Tahu Rhodes.

The Choir also undertakes a comprehensive programme of recording, broadcasting and touring, interstate and overseas. In 2018, it returned to Gallipoli and sang at the ANZAC Day Dawn Service, as well as performing to critical acclaim at the Coriole Music Festival in Adelaide, and in Hobart at Festival of Voices.

The performers: The Choir & Orchestra of St James’, with soloists Amy Moore, Andrew Goodwin, and Simon Meadows, directed by Warren Trevelyan-Jones

The programme: J. Haydn – The Creation 

Tickets $50/$45  |  To book call (02) 8256 2222 or visit




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