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The most-read stories from the Sydney Opera House in 2019

The stories that resonated with the Sydney Opera House and Australians in 2019 spanned First Nations, challenging institutions and fighting the climate apocalypse. Here are the stories from that got people talking this year.

7. ‘Weaponising masculinity’

“Australia’s white patriarchy disempowers cis Asian men, constructing us as undesirable in interpersonal relationships and hard-working, though unambitious, in the workplace.”

For All About Women festival, this article challenges Australian ideas about 'manliness' are used against Asian, black and brown people.

6. ‘Horoscopes for the climate apocalypse’ 

How do you fight impending doom? With humour. Antidote festival looks for solutions among the problems our world faces today. With horoscopes for every sign, this illustrated guide takes a light-hearted look at the serious issues that face our world.

5. ‘An Asian, an Aboriginal and an Islander take on white Australia in Nakkiah Lui's new play’

“People are more outraged about being called racist than they are about actual racism itself.”

In this challenging play by Nakkiah Lui for Sydney Theatre Company, three friends take on the racist institutions embedded within Australian politics. In an interview with actress Michelle Lim Davidson she explains how the play was a powerful call to political action for everyone involved in the production.

4. ‘Transforming the Tudors: An interview with Six co-creator Lucy Moss’

Retelling history is a popular sport in the world of musical theatre, most notably with Lin Manuel-Miranda’s depiction of founding father Alexander Hamilton and the American Revolution (earlier this year, the Opera House stage his work In the Heights).

People might know the Tudor king Henry VIII by name, but not his six wives – he ordered two of them to be beheaded. Six is a bold new musical that reinvents feminism and challenges how we see our history on the stage. The aptly titled song, ‘Don’t Lose Your Head’ (sung by Ann Boleyn in the musical) has already been shared over half a billion times on TikTok.

3. ‘Pictures of you: Unreleased photography from The Cure’s 2011 show at Vivid LIVE’

In 2019 The Cure returned to headline Vivid LIVE festival, eight years since they debuted at the very same festival. They played early demos, b-sides and every track back-to-back from Disintegration to celebrate the album’s 30th anniversary. To celebrate, the Opera House unearthed some of the photographs from the band’s 2011 performances that hadn’t been seen until this year.

2. ‘The moments that changed the Opera House forever’

The best performances are hard to relive, and the Sydney Opera House’s recent history has been home to many of them. Prince’s rare piano and a microphone shows, Hannah Gadsby’s hilarious and sharp observations on life, Stephen Hawking as a hologram – these are the moments that changed the Opera House. 

1. ‘An audio-visual interactive guide to Dance Rites’

Know your yidaki from your didgeridoo? Dance Rites is a yearly competition that draws nations from across the country – The Kimberleys to Far North Queensland to the Tiwi Islands – to compete and share in their dance and culture.  

Discover our interactive guide and learn the words with Rhoda Roberts, Head of First Nations Programming, as she shares the language of our First Nations.

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