Whitacre memorably celebrates “the precarious beauty of life, offering the welcome consolation of art and momentary stay against our collective fate.”
Los Angeles Times (2019)


“Sydney Philharmonia Choirs have been basking in this charismatic musician’s inspiring rays all week, and as they sang to his beat they positively glowed.”
Sydney Morning Herald (2013)

The Sacred Veil: Eric Whitacre Conducts

When the pandemic sent us into isolation, the world saw a flood of multi-tracked videos as musicians, desperate to perform together, formed ensembles online. But Eric Whitacre got there first with his Virtual Choir of 2010 – 185 singers meticulously edited together for a video performance of Lux Aurumque that has reached millions. Since then, he’s become a virtual rock star of contemporary choral music and on his previous visit to Sydney he filled the Opera House Concert Hall with fans.

In 2022 he returns to conduct the Sydney premiere of his latest major choral work, The Sacred Veil. It’s a collaboration with American poet Charles Anthony Silvestri, telling a story of love, loss and the search for solace. And although the personal inspiration at its core is the death of Silvestri’s wife, this intimate and compelling score follows a very human – and very relatable – journey.

The Sacred Veil is a story for us all,” says Whitacre, “everyone has a place of pain that we can hardly bear to touch” and it taps into the way music – and especially singing – can help us grieve and heal.

From the “light and gold” of Lux Aurumque to this newest work, Whitacre’s music brings us shimmering harmonies, luxurious sonorities, searing intensity – and what better place to hear it than in the secular cathedral that is the Sydney Opera House.

Saturday 17 September | 8pm
Sydney Opera House Concert Hall


Deborah CHEETHAM & Matthew DOYLE Tarimi Nulay – Long time living here*
Lux Aurumque (Light and Gold)
The Sacred Veil**
Texts by Charles Anthony Silvestri
* Commissioned for our 100 Minutes of New Australian Music project
** Sydney premiere

The Sacred Veil was commissioned by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Grant Gershon – Artistic Director, Monash Academy of Performing Arts – MLIVE Melbourne and NTR ZaterdagMatinee for the Netherlands Radio Choir.

The performance will run for approximately 70 minutes. No interval. 


Eric Whitacre conductor
Julian Smiles cello
Claire Howard Race piano


Premium $124 | A $101 | B $79 | C $58 | D $45 | $30 for Under 30s*
Concessions: Premium $112 | A $90| B $71 | C $52 | D $41
A booking fee of $8.50 per transaction applies
*Limited seats. Conditions apply.



  • All SPC singers, musicians and staff are double vaccinated.
  • Audiences will be required to wear masks throughout the performance. If this changes we will inform patrons as soon as possible.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available.
  • A digital program book will be available on this page a week prior to the concert. A limited number of printed program books will be available for $5 each at the concert.