With major performance venues in New South Wales given the green light to reopen, the Sydney Opera House will return with exciting public programming from November. Today, the Opera House also announced the launch of an initiative called New Work Now, a new commissioning program designed to support local artists and creatives.
New Work Now is commissioning local artists to create and present new works, which will play an important role in reinvigorating the arts after the industry works to recover from the ongoing impact of the lockdowns and other ripple effects of the public health crisis. The works will cover a broad variety including classical and contemporary music, First Nations topics, talks and ideas, contemporary performance, children and families, and digital works. Works selected by the Opera House’s internal programming arm – Sydney Opera House Presents led by director of programming Fiona Winning – will aim to showcase the breadth and diversity of local Australian artists and creatives. An amazing $1 million has already been raised for the project by the Opera House's philanthropic supporters.
The first works in the series have already debuted through the Opera House’s digital season From Our House to Yours, including an exclusively commissioned performance by Ziggy Ramo, who transformed his debut album Black Thoughts into a hip-hop reckoning.
Next, the Sydney Chamber Opera will premiere a digital production of Czech composer Leoš Janáček’s hauntingly beautiful song cycle Diary of One Who Disappeared, which questions the romantic ideal that the love of another person can rescue us from the suffering and mundanity of our existence. The premiere is streaming live on Saturday, October 10 at 8pm. Find out more here.
Also in the program, the artists from physical theatre company Branch Nebula will present a new work called CRUSH, described as “part DIY shed, part Medieval research centre, part obsessive Bunnings shopping spree,” which will debut in late 2020. A global collaboration called Indigenous World Art Orchestra will be developed for production in 2021. It will reimagine Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with First Nations performers, composers and musicians, telling true stories of the first contact on occupied territories around the world. In partnership with Griffin Theatre Company, New Work Now will also help develop the script for a new play called The Bright Side of Bum Town. Written by Frieda Lee, the story follows a family living in a post-virus recession.
While we eagerly await the curtain lift on IRL performances at the Opera House, you can get down to the recently reopened Opera Bar and Opera Kitchen for oceanside refreshments.
Ready for a show? Check out the best live performances in Sydney right now.