Skip Links
soh.search.redirect.input

Backstage Archive

Read     Watch     Listen

The rainbow stage

Some of the Opera House's most defining performances by LGBTIQ+ artists.

Fine-tuning the acoustics of the Joan Sutherland Theatre

What makes a concert sound good? Here's how our acousticians did it.

The power of music and film

UK critic Ian Haydn Smith on the power of music in film, from Barber’s ‘Adagio for Strings’ to Schubert's 'Death and the Maiden'.

Youssou Ndour is a true Renaissance man

There's a lot to learn about Senegal's most famous musician.

The bad boy of British dance returns

A Royal Ballet School graduate with rigour, imagination and a passion for music, art and design, Michael Clark formed his own company aged 21.

The nightclub is Andrew Weatherall's temple

Ben Marshall interviews the British DJ behind Primal Scream.

How Australia inspired Darwin's Theory of Evolution

The Wider Earth explores how Darwin stumbled upon his theory of evolution—and the key role that Australia played.

Cheat sheet: The Merry Widow

Brush up on the glitz and glam of Opera Australia's new production before your next dinner party.

TV on the big stage: Stranger Things

Productions budgets have multiplied, movie stars have crossed over, and the once clear-cut line dividing film and TV continues to fade. But can TV make it on the big stage?

Two Weddings, One Bride: Cheat Sheet

All you need to know for a fun night of operetta.

Conserving a masterpiece

“One lifted the other — and that was Utzon’s vision. The Opera House is a performance in itself.”

Dressing for drama: Direction and design

STC Artistic Director Kip Williams and costume and set designer Alice Babidge discuss how direction and design inform each other to create brilliant theatre.

"There is no Aboriginal disadvantage"

Aboriginal culture can be part of Australia's shared strength, says SOH's head of First Nations Programming Rhoda Roberts.

STC: Jonathan Biggins on Talk

Jonathan Biggins, the writer and director of Talk, discusses his play, the internet and the state of journalism.

Ultimate Utopia: Rutger Bregman

Read our series deconstructing the people and the movements that made them as part of Antidote, the Opera House's newest festival of ideas, art & action.

Renewal: Upgrading the Joan Sutherland Theatre

One of the world’s great performance venues, the Joan Sutherland Theatre is being renewed for the next generation of artists and audiences.

Ash Bolland, the creator of Lighting the Sails 2017 for Vivid

Sydney creative Ash Bolland set to give life to a modern 'Micrographia' at this years Lighting of the Sails

In Conversation with Beth Orton

A poet’s feel for lyrics, an actress’ instinct for delivery – and that voice. In conversation with the rapturous Beth Orton.

The new space race: Life on Mars

The prospect of life on Mars is no longer obscene. Is a one-way trip to the red planet nonsensical? Or is it a necessary step in humanity's progression? We talk to Josh Richards, who may be shot to Mars - to stay.

Snapping back: Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

Read our series deconstructing the people and the movements that made them as part of Antidote, the Opera House's newest festival of ideas, art & action.

Bill Callahan

The Texan singer-songwriter discusses silence, the purpose of music and what it’s like to hit a new peak 25 years into your career.

Costumes of The Nutcracker

Get up close to the sumptuous costumes designed for The Australian Ballet's Nutcracker - The Story of Clara.

Paradise lost: ACO's Missy and Max

How a 400-year-old double bass found in an Italian monastery inspired Missy Mazzoli's new concerto for the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Celebrating New Year's Eve at the House

While the fireworks blaze outside, the Joan Sutherland Theatre reopens in grand form.

Theatre's modern revivalists: The Wooster Group

A brief history of the experimental New York collective behind The Town Hall Affair. Read more on Backstage.

Cheat sheet: The Merchant Of Venice

A handy guide to bluffing your way through Bell Shakespeare's thrilling production of The Merchant Of Venice.

From clubs to the Concert Hall: Ben Marshall

From New Order to Four Tet, Vivid LIVE's Ben Marshall on expanding his horizons in London's electronic music scene.

The nightclub is Andrew Weatherall's temple

Ben Marshall interviews the British DJ behind Primal Scream.

Australia's punk poet: Paul Kelly

Dapper as usual in a brown suit and open necked shirt, slightly stooped but hawkeyed, Paul Kelly declines the offer of his much-loved cabernet in favour of an ale as he looks out of Bennelong Restaurant and over Sydney Harbour.

Swan songs: the sound of Loch na hEala

“Music is everything to me,” says the Irish choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan. “It is the most magical thing and to work in the theatre, I always have to start with music.”

Awkar Ruel

The day after arriving in Australia, Assyrian refugee Awkar Ruel saw the Opera House. Now he's studying architecture in Copenhagen.

Sampha: "Making music can be a vulnerable space"

Singer and producer Sampha Sisay on his debut LP and upcoming performance at Vivid LIVE.

Amanda Palmer

What role does Amanda Palmer see her art playing in a time of such political uncertainty and, for some, fear?

Seeing Music: Leif Podhajsky

Byron-born, London-based Podhajsky has designed cover art for Tame Impala, Bonobo and Kelis. He explains his creative process with SOH's Claudio Santoro.

Cheat sheet: Carmen

Everything you need to know about Bizet's Carmen, one of opera's greatest hits.

Stage Manager or Flyperson

The first in our series of behind the scenes arts jobs explores the roles of a Stage Manager and Fly Person at Sydney Opera House. Peek backstage at the Joan Sutherland Theatre and watch preparations get underway for kids show Pete the Sheep.

All the news from the Children's Republic of Sydney

What rules would kids make if they ruled the world? See all the action as it happens at the Children's Republic of Sydney.

Dion Lee to design Opera House uniforms

Award-winning fashion designer Dion Lee will create a new collection of uniforms for Opera House staff.

Getty Foundation - Keeping It Modern

The iconic shells of the Sydney Opera House pioneered the use of reinforced and post tensioned concrete as a prominent architectural feature.

Building creativity: modding the Opera House with Minecraft

Can video games be used for good? Here's how Minecraft has taught children (and adults) how to get creative together.

Moses Sumney wants to write "soft punk"

The singer and his former day-to-day manager talk Nina Simone, surrendering to songwriting, and how he keeps morphing as an artist.

Cheat sheet: Carmen

Everything you need to know about Bizet's Carmen, one of opera's greatest hits.

Cheat Sheet: The Unbelievables

Your A to Z for the history of the variety show.

Cheat sheet: Three Sisters

Andrew Upton reveals his modern adaptation of Anton Chekhov's classic, and exactly what Bob Dylan has to do with this classic Russian play. Read now on Backstage.

Jack Johnson is making concerts recyclable

Tour manager Max Tischler on how he makes world tours eco-friendly.

A healthier harbour

Professor David Booth is diving head first into a three-year project to help restore marine habitats and rebalance biodiversity around Bennelong Point.

La La Land: the sound of romance

"It can be very frustrating because I don't know if and when the right melody will strike, and it's the only part of the process when I have serious self-doubt...Damien and I hold out for that really great melody, and it can take a while."

Badu Gili's Frances Belle Parker

We talk to Frances Belle Parker, one of the five Badu Gili artists, about her work, her motivation and how she's used the Opera House’s sails as a blank canvas.

Buffy the Culture Slayer

"TV was not art before Buffy, but it was afterwards," once wrote critic Robert Moore. To mark the inaugural BingeFest, we look back at the Slayer's enduring legacy.

Read up on: David Sedaris

Don't know where to start? Here are a few things you need to know about him before he returns to the Concert Hall next year.

The Australian Ballet's Tim Harbour talks Faster

Tim Harbour talks choreography, French philosophy and the making of his new ballet Squander and Glory, part of Faster.

In conversation with Nobuyuki Tsujii

Blind since birth, Tsujii was 10 years old when he declared to himself he would become a concert pianist.

Hot Brown Honey

Award-winning and label defying, the Honeys mix theatrical spectacle with social activism.

A Soft Future is a bright one

Soft Future Piano Bar is a zero-waste purple paradise in our Concert Hall Northern Foyer. We spoke to Goodgod creative masterminds Hana Shimada and Jimmy Sing about how the bar differs from others in Sydney.

Hidden headlines

Opera House staff working on the Joan Sutherland Theatre’s Renewal project discovered the tanned, fragile pages of a 1972 copy of the Herald tucked behind the theatre’s machinery and cabling.

Unexpected guests: Imara Savage and Elizabeth Gadsby

"You expect that the food will be good. You expect that the people gathered will like each other ... there are rules."

The Necks: Painting with sound

How the 'ambient jazz' masters got inside our heads at Vivid LIVE

Inventing Russia: Arkady Ostrovsky

Read our series deconstructing the people and the movements that made them as part of Antidote, the Opera House's newest festival of ideas, art & action.

Young guns: ACO's Ike and Glenn

Two of the Australian Chamber Orchestra's newest stars talk mentors, an Australian premiere and an explosive start to the season.

Song Ling rides the New Wave of Chinese art

Between Hangzhou and Melbourne, the Lunar Lantern artist's real work is politically charged with flairs of Magritte.

Flashback to Countdown

Bernard Zuel on how Australia's primetime music show became a national obsession.

Punk, protest & Green Day

Jonno Seidler talks to Grinspoon's Phil Jamieson on how American Idiot defined a generation of rebels.

Club Weld

Some of Sydney's most prolific artists collaborated with musicians on the autism spectrum and with other disabilities to make their own music in the Opera House’s state-of-the-art Intel Broadcast Studio.

Improving the acoustics

Work is underway to make the Opera House sound as good as it looks. Meet the acousticians solving a 40 year-old problem.

Read Up: ANTIDOTE

Have you seen Tamika's interview with The Breakfast Club? Watch her and some of our other ANTIDOTE speakers before heading to the festival.

Out There with The Australian Ballet

The Australian Ballet’s Out There program has joined forces with the Sydney Opera House to make dance accessible to anyone regardless of their ability.

Richard 3: Villain with a twist

Kate Mulvany, who plays the most wicked character Shakespeare ever wrote in Bell Shakespeare’s latest production, is not afraid to show her own scars.

Utzon Music Series

Yarmila Alfonzeti, the curator of the Utzon Music Series, describes ten years of incredible music in an incredible space.

The Australian Ballet's Tim Harbour talks Faster

Tim Harbour talks choreography, French philosophy and the making of his new ballet Squander and Glory, part of Faster.

The Avalanches and DJ Shadow: Sampling through time and space

There are many more layers to a track by The Avalanches and DJ Shadow than meets the ear.

Mountain: An interview with Richard Tognetti

ACO's Artistic Director Richard Tognetti takes us behind the scenes of Mountain, a collaboration with filmmaker Jennifer Peedom.

Escaping reality with Yeonmi Park

The first in our series deconstructing the people and the movements that made them as part of Antidote, the Opera House's newest festival of ideas, art & action.

Writing hits with Future Classic

Chad Gillard, Future Classic co-founder, talks about the label’s relationship to the Opera House, how they pair the right musicians together, and how they massage a song into a hit.

The Forecourt: Art with a view

From Lorde to Janet Jackson, Nelson Mandela to Spencer Tunick, Oprah and Hugh Jackman to Björk, Crowded House and Florence + the Machine. Here are some of the Sydney Opera House's greatest moments on the Forecourt.

Club Weld

Some of Sydney's most prolific artists collaborated with musicians on the autism spectrum and with other disabilities to make their own music in the Opera House’s state-of-the-art Intel Broadcast Studio.

Ten albums that defined Repressed Records

The most memorable records from the Newtown vinyl institution.