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The Festival asked some of the world’s finest singers to reflect on our theme of spirituality and mortality with the question: ‘Which seven songs would you leave behind?’ The result is this unforgettable night of music.

Seven Songs to Leave Behind features an incredible line-up of extraordinary voices brought together for the first time to celebrate the power of song.

Sinead O’Connor, recognised worldwide for her astonishing voice and songs, has been making music, rejecting stereotypes and defying expectations for a quarter of a century.

John Cale, legendary founding member of The Velvet Underground, acclaimed composer and one of the most influential and thought-provoking musicians of all time.

Meshell Ndegeocello, prolific songwriter and fearsome bassist, has had ten Grammy Award nominations during a stellar career traversing musical boundaries and defying categorisation.

Rickie Lee Jones highly influential, Grammy Award-winning, multi-million selling US singersongwriter and producer who, over the course of a three-decade career, has performed and recorded in a variety of musical styles including rock, R & B, blues, pop, soul and jazz and has influenced an entire generation of female singers.

Gurrumul Yunupingu award-winning Indigenous Australian artist who will be familiar to Festival audiences from his previous sold out and critically acclaimed appearances.

The Black Arm Band, Melbourne Festival favourites and multi award-winning musicians, featuring Leah Flanagan, Shellie Morris, Dan Sultan and Ursula Yovich, who have taken audiences around the world by storm since their Festival debut in 2006.

In a format of entwined concerts, over more than three hours, these artists each share highly personal musical essays of seven classic songs that hold special meaning to them. They will sing their first song – the song that switched them on to being a musician, one from master poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen, a song to share with another, a song that they covet – the one above all others that they wished they had written, two songs of their own and one for the end of days – a song to leave behind.

Joining the singers alongside Orchestra Victoria is a handpicked band of Australia’s finest instrumentalists.

Seven Songs to Leave Behind is a spellbinding concert embracing humanity, mortality and spirituality, and a once in a lifetime celebration of what musicians leave behind for us all.

Gallery

Promo Shot 2009 (Photo: Stephen Gale)