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Barbican announces a series of festive live and livestreamed concerts

Jess Gillam and Katie Melua with background of snowflakes and sonar waves

The Barbican today announced a series of Christmas concerts to be enjoyed by both a reduced, socially-distanced live audience in the Barbican Hall and a global livestream audience at home, featuring performances from saxophonist Jess Gillam, singer-songwriter Katie Melua, actor Kevin Whately, Barbican Associate Ensemble Academy of Ancient Music in Handel’s Messiah, and BBC Singers conducted by Bob Chilcott.

This continues the successful season of live and livestreamed concerts as part of Live from the Barbican, which have been taking place at the Barbican Hall since October. All performances will be streamed to a global audience live on a pay-to-view basis, with 48 hours to view or re-watch the concert after it begins. Tickets for the socially-distanced live experience in the auditorium will be available for all concerts, if Government guidance permits this.

Tue 15 December 2020, livestreamed from Barbican Hall, 7pm
A Choral Christmas with Jess Gillam and Katie Melua
Tickets £12.50 (streamed), £20 - £40 (live)

Saxophonist Jess Gillam, whose recent second album TIME saw her reach No 1 in the UK’s Official Classical Artist Chart, takes to the Barbican Hall stage this Christmas as she hosts and performs in an evening of festive music for a live and livestreamed audience.
Gillam is joined by singer-songwriter Katie Melua, one of Britain’s most successful recording artists of the millennium, as well as the BBC Singers conducted by Principal Guest Conductor Bob Chilcott, and members of the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Coinciding with the release of her eighth-studio album this autumn, Album No.8, the concert will see Melua perform new soulful songs as well as seasonal ones from her 2016 Christmas record In Winter. The evening will also include performances of traditional favourites, including Chilcott’s arrangement of The Twelve Days of Christmas and Have yourself a merry little Christmas.

Co-produced by the Barbican and BBC Singers

Sat 19 December 2020, livestreamed from Barbican Hall, 7pm
Handel’s Messiah - Academy of Ancient Music / Egarr
Tickets £12.50 (streamed), £20 - £40 (live)
(Please note this performance was originally scheduled to take place on 18 December)

Barbican Associate Ensemble the Academy of Ancient Music celebrate their return to the Barbican Hall with a performance of the seasonal classic, Handel’s Messiah, directed by Richard Egarr. This rescheduled concert will now be both live and livestreamed, available for local and international audiences alike to enjoy.
Despite trying times, the Barbican is determined to continue its annual tradition of hosting a performance of the Messiah for the festive season, with the AAM’s period instruments bringing a vibrancy and vitality that is acclaimed internationally. They are joined on the night by a glittering array of British talent - soprano Rowan Pierce, countertenor Iestyn Davies, tenor Ben Johnson and bass Ashley Riches.
First performed in 1742 as part of an Easter celebration, Messiah tells the story of the nativity, death and resurrection of Christ and has been a Christmas favourite for more than a century.

Co-produced by the Barbican and the Academy of Ancient Music

Tue 22 December 2020, livestreamed from Barbican Hall, 7pm
A Dickensian Christmas
Tickets £12.50 (streamed), £20 - £30 (live)

Kevin Whately, English screen star known for his roles in TV crime dramas Inspector Morse and Lewis, joins the London Concert Brass conducted by Hilary Davan Wetton for a festive evening for all the family.
Whately will bring to life a selection of readings from Charles Dickens’ festive fixture, A Christmas Carol, which will be accompanied by a programme of classic Victorian carols for choir and brass, including Deck the Hall, Ding Dong Merrily on High and Sussex Carol, In the Bleak Midwinter and The Holly and the Ivy.

Co-produced by the Barbican and Raymond Gubbay Ltd

The Barbican believes in creating space for people and ideas to connect through its international arts programme, community events and learning activity. To keep its programme accessible to everyone, and to keep investing in the artists it works with, the Barbican needs to raise more than 60% of its income through ticket sales, commercial activities and fundraising every year. Donations can be made here: