11-13 October 2024

Closing Gala: The Planets

Featuring the Entire Known Cosmos

Date and Time
Sun 13 Oct, 3.30pm
Reardon Theatre
90 minutes
$59 / $52

Our 2024 Closing Gala brings together instrumentalists and choristers from all over Southwest Victoria, alongside Melbourne musicians and magnificent soloists, led by PFSMF co-artistic directors Monica Curro and Stefan Cassomenos, on one enormous shared stage.

Homegrown talent Demby McKenzie launches us into outer space with Andrew Ford’s A Martian Sends a Postcard Home – a setting of Craig Raine’s imagined visitor’s impression of life on planet Earth – with Carla Blackwood (French Horn) and Rhodri Clarke (Piano).

We continue our interplanetary journey with Gustav Holst’s seven-movement smash-hit in a new arrangement that completely reimagines The Planets as a choral work with chamber orchestra, and text variously exploring scientific planetary observations, early writings about the mythological figures after whom the planets are named, and diverse descriptions of the planets drawn from ancient astronomical traditions across the globe, including the many names given to the planets in different languages.

Holst’s work did not include Pluto – which remained an undiscovered planet until 1930, and then in 2006 was deemed too small to even be called a planet – and so we conclude our 2024 PFSMF with the world premiere of a fresh new work entitled Pluto, collaboratively created by local Southwest schoolchildren together with facilitator Stefan Cassomenos, in a voyage of discovery of what even the smallest of us can and will achieve, in the face of the unimaginable parameters of our Cosmos.

Select tickets

Andrew Ford
A Martian Sends a Postcard Home
Gustav Holst
The Planets Op 32 (arr. Cassomenos)
Stefan Cassomenos
Pluto (world premiere) composed collaboratively with Southwest Victorian schoolchildren

Demby McKenzie Tenor
Carla Blackwood French Horn
Rhodri Clarke Piano
PFSMF Chamber Orchestra
Stefan Cassomenos Conductor
Monica Curro Concertmaster
Consort of Melbourne
PFSMF Chorus
PFSMF Children’s Chorus: Dermot Tutty Director
Port Fairy Ring of Bells: Suzanne Brimacomb Director