A magical live celebration of Christmas music in the festively-lit Mediterranean Biome promised to bring comfort and joy to visitors at the Eden Project this Christmas.

As darkness falls and the Biome is transformed by an all-new light show, the Eden Christmas Orchestra will strike up with festive favourites played on four separate stages.

The orchestra, which is performing on selected dates until January 3, is made up of groups of two or three in brass, string, percussion and woodwind sections and is separated to maintain safe social distance.

Digitally connected by in-ear monitors, all the musicians play simultaneously, creating a ‘surround sound’ effect across the vast space. Visitors can continuously hear the live music as they move around the Biome but the sound changes depending on where they are located.

This concept, used in 16th century Venice by the likes of Giovanni Gabrieli, is known as antiphonal music and allows the orchestra to create a tapestry of sound that complements the space.

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Included in the bumper three-hour setlist are traditional classics such as Silent Night and O Come, All Ye Faithful, alongside popular hits such as Walking In The Air and Happy Xmas (War Is Over), arranged for Eden by Musical Director, Patrick Bailey.

The orchestra, made up of Cornwall-based musicians, is led by musical supervisor Matt Harrison, who is leading Eden’s Christmas music programme for the third consecutive year.

Matt said: “From the first chord at our first rehearsal, we knew this would be something wonderful and it is rather fitting that the use of technology is helping us perform as one.

“It’s fantastic that Eden is showcasing the power of music and its ability to bring people together. We are really grateful to be able to perform live again and the Biome is such a magical setting with the most amazing acoustics.”

Eden’s director of interpretation Jo Elworthy said: “It has been a tough year for everyone and it is wonderful to be able to share some joy and comfort with visitors in an enchanting space full of magical music and light.”

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As a centrepiece of the light show, a huge mirror-ball high up in the Biome casts a blizzard of snowflake-like points of silvery light across the giant structure.

Elsewhere, the dramatic landscape of the tropical Rainforest Biome is lit up in many rich colours to create a world of shadows and light.

Visitors can also enjoy seasonal walks and trails through the 30-acre outdoor gardens and have a skate on the ice-rink, for an extra cost.

Social distancing safety measures mean that the rink is operating with much-reduced numbers, so skaters have more space than ever before.

There are one-way routes throughout the outdoor gardens and Biomes. Visitors are asked to keep moving at all times through the Christmas experience so that everyone can enjoy the lights and music safely.

Eden continues to operate at reduced visitor capacity with pre-booked timed entry required for all guests.

For full details on how to book visit the Eden project website.