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2012 Event Media Release - The Illusionists Announcement


Sydney Opera House has announced two more acts – a mind-reader and an escapologist – to join the already stellar line up of the 2012 ‘Summer at the House’ headline show The Illusionists.

The Italian Escapologist Andrew Basso will stage a nail-biting interpretation of Houdini’s famous water torture illusion. He will be lowered head-first, with his feet locked in metal bolts, into a tank of water from which he will stage an escape, live on the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall stage.

Since winning awards for his work within the field of Escapology from the age of 20, Basso has gone on to establish a reputation for being able to extract himself from the most compromising of situations. He performs regularly in Italy as well as New York, LA and Las Vegas. The Illusionists will mark his first performances in Australia.

Philip Escoffey last read the minds of Sydney Opera House audiences in 2010 with his string of sell-out shows Six Impossible Things Before Dinner. He has intrigued and astonished audiences around the world with sell-out shows across the UK and Edinburgh as well as Australia, and recently appeared in the British documentary Britain’s Psychic Challenge.

The Illusionists will also have a bespoke score composed by the LA-based band Z. Z have a diverse range of experience, having previously been featured in the soundtrack for Man in the Mirror, a Michael Jackson tribute show, as well as being the backing band for West Coast rappers like Nas and Kanye West. They have played on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show and The Late Show with David Letterman.  The band, which will include drums, bass guitar, keyboards and horns spliced into DJ samples, will perform live at Sydney Opera House for each performance.

The world premiere of The Illusionists will be a grand and spectacular celebration of the art of magic by some of the most innovative illusionists working today. Andrew Basso (The Escapologist) and Philip Escoffey (The Mind Reader) join Brett Daniels (The Grand Illusionist), Kevin James (The Inventor), Dan Sperry (The Anti-Conjuror), James Dimmare (The Gentleman) and Jeff Hobson (The Trickster) in a line-up composed of seven of the world’s most respected magicians who will enact large-scale, mind-bending acts of optical illusion, many of which have never been seen before.

Meera Hindocha, Senior Publicist
E. / T. 02 9250 7834


Season details
Dates:    From 12 January
Venue:    Concert Hall
Tickets:   Children’s tickets from $47.25 (under 18); adults from $75; group discounts and family tickets available
Age guideline:   5+

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