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2007 Media Releases - $5 tickets for disadvantaged (Balnaves)

Issued Thursday, 26 April 2007


  • What: $5 tickets to Tim Minchin’s So Rock
  • Where: The Studio, Sydney Opera House
  • When: Thursday 3 May, 9.15pm
  • Who: Tickets available for disadvantaged communities wanting to experience a performance at Sydney Opera House – please call Melissa Burgess on 9250 7145 for further information or to purchase tickets

On Thursday 03 May, an audience of disadvantaged communities from Inner-City Sydney will attend a special performance of Tim Minchin’s So Rock at the cost of $5 per ticket - thanks to funding by a new initiative called the Balnaves Foundation Open House Program.

Minchin’s new show is the second in the Balnaves Foundation series where Sydney Opera House will become an “open house” to underprivileged and unemployed communities, offering subsidised tickets to selected performances.

Described by The Times London as “a genuine musical virtuoso whose songs would make Rufus Wainwright sit up and look nervous,” Tim performs dark comedy, cabaret, witty gags, pop tunes, and love ballads.

Anne Hampshire is National Manager of Research and Social Policy at Mission Australia, “Initiatives such as the Balnaves Foundation Open House Program mean that people who have faced, or continue to face, a range if issues, including mental and physical illness, addiction or the risk of homelessness can participate in activities that they would otherwise be excluded from” she said.

“Being able to see a performance for $5 not only provides an opportunity to experience performing arts but is an activity that leads to social interaction, learning and community participation” she added.

A Sydney-based underprivileged and unemployed audience is the target group for the program. Year one of the program will focus on inner city residents closer to Sydney Opera House; Years two and three will expand it to southern and western suburbs.

Neil Balnaves, Founder of the Balnaves Foundation, believes that making the performing arts accessible to disadvantaged communities is “essential” for all “regardless of their social demographic.”

“The experience of seeing a show should not be confined to people in the higher socio-economic groups. At a venue such as Sydney Opera House, the performances should be open to all those who would like to see them and that’s the main aim of the Balnaves Foundation Open House Program” he said.

The Balnaves Foundation Open House program is also one of the first success stories of the Annual Giving Program, a new philanthropic initiative by Sydney Opera House. Proceeds from the Program will help to sustain its core business and fund various projects such as artistic, education and access initiatives.

By securing a significant commitment over three years, the Balnaves Foundation donation opens Sydney Opera House to a broader audience that will help to ensure the House remains artistically vibrant and accessible as ever.

The Balnaves Foundation aims to support the arts and medicine in the Australian community with a particular focus on young Australians.


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