top of page

Spinifex Gum With The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Updated: Jun 20, 2022

Spinifex Gum with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra featuring Emma Donovan, Felix Riebl, Ollie McGill and Marliya of Gondwana Choirs.

A special NAIDOC Week presentation, Sat 9 July

The award-winning, sound and song collective Spinifex Gum return to Melbourne in NAIDOC Week to perform with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Felix Riebl is a singer, songwriter, and composer based in Melbourne. He is the co-founder, band leader and principal songwriter of the internationally acclaimed band The Cat Empire, who have made multi-platinum albums, and are the 2006 winner of the World Music Aria Award for their album Cities. Featuring brand new songs by Felix Riebl, this part protest, part celebration choral-orchestral re-imagining of the stirring works of the renowned collective, will bring new sonic depth and dimension to the Spinifex Gum experience.

The stunning program will feature the extraordinary Marliya Choir, alongside Australia’s Queen of Soul Emma Donovan, The Cat Empire’s Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill, and the 60-strong Gondwana Voices, accompanied by the MSO and members of Melbourne Youth Orchestras.

Hamer Hall will be filled with the vibrant young voices driven by the powerful Cairns-based ensemble, Marliya of Gondwana Choirs, through their compelling blend of harmony and protest singing in both English and Yindjibarndi, while trailblazing a new pop-choir genre.

On bringing this epic show to Melbourne, Felix Riebl said: ‘Spinifex Gum, fronted by the all-female, all-Indigenous, all-powerful voices of Marliya Choir is the most moving musical project I’ve ever been involved in. That it’s now performing with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, supported by Gondwana Voices, featuring Emma Donovan, and visually accompanied by the cinematic backdrop of the Pilbara, and showcasing some incredible new material, makes this show an absolute must-see. I can’t wait to share this with new audiences and fans alike.’ The work of Spinifex Gum addresses pervasive issues from the social disparity present in the Pilbara to deaths in custody, disproportionate incarceration, and land rights, with lyrics and song that have the power to disarm, inspire, and speak to us in a way that no individual voice can.

MSO + Spinifex Gum is conducted by Benjamin Northey and composed by Felix Riebl. Orchestration by Ross Irwin and Ollie McGill, choreography by Deborah Brown, and choir direction by Lyn Williams AM. MSO + Spinifex Gum proudly presented by Equity Trustees. MSO + Spinifex Gum takes place at Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall on Saturday 9 July at 2pm and 7.30pm. For further information and to book tickets visit


bottom of page