Thursday Night (in) with the Symphony: Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace

MSO Eumeralla Deborah Cheetham - photo by Laura ManaritiThis Thursday, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra invites audiences to experience a very special online performance of Deborah Cheetham’s Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace.

Written and composed by the acclaimed Deborah Cheetham AO, Yorta Yorta soprano, and MSO Composer in Residence, this requiem for peace is sung entirely in the ancient dialects of the Gunditjmara people. It brings into focus a period of Australia’s history based on the Resistance Wars southwest of Melbourne between 1840-1863.

“Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace breaks the silence of so many decades and serves to amplify the importance of our nation’s shared history,” said Deborah Cheetham.

The sold-out performance, recorded in 2019, features Deborah Cheetham AO; Linda Barcan, mezzo soprano; Don Bemrose, baritone (Gungarri); MSO Chorus; Dhungala Children’s Choir; Masters students from Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and young talent from Melbourne Youth Orchestras, conducted by Benjamin Northey.

MSO First Violin Sarah Curro worked alongside Deborah Cheetham and musicians to present the Bunwurrang acknowledgement of country, Long Time Living Here which is performed at the start of MSO concerts.

“Deborah’s continuing mission is fuelled by the ancient and sacred power of sharing difficult stories through music and this is especially focused in this work,” said Ms Curro. “I was fortunate to be a part of this epic work as a tiny cog in the orchestral and choral machine; the difference in this case, compared to a Verdi or a Mozart requiem, was this requiem meant something direct and real to us all.”

Experience Deborah Cheetham’s Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace this Thursday 23 April at 7.30pm on the MSO’s YouTube Channel.

For more information, visit: for details, or stay tuned to MSO’s social media platforms for updates on upcoming online concerts and more.

Image: Deborah Cheetham with Members of the Orchestra for Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace – photo by Laura Manariti