From Our House to Yours:
The most popular videos, podcasts and articles of 2020
Dominic Ellis, Mimi Nightingale
Sydney Opera House
21 Dec 2020
It's been a terrible year for humanity but a stellar year for online content as arts organisations around the world pivoted from live events to the online, and we were no exception. This year we launched From Our House to Yours, our SMAC Award nominated digital program comprised of live performances from our Digital Stage, unreleased concerts from the archive, new podcasts, curated playlists and even a virtual escape room. These were the most read, listened to and watched of our digital offering in the new world.
Death, taxes and the continual popularity of The Wiggles – three certainties in life. The Rolling Stones of small fries globally, these guys have been 'round the block for some time and yet remain as popular as ever. Look no further than this Digital Stage performance, which saw Yellow Wiggle Emma cruising on site in her notorious Big Red Car, before bringing down the House with such timeless hits as ‘Fruit Salad’ and ‘Talking Cow’.
Sadly, the full performance is no longer available, but you can check out their performance of ‘Social Distancing’ below.
Escapism was the name of the game for most of Planet Earth this year, and our three most popular articles speak to that. Closely tailing the Trials of Wisdom for the top spot was a piece on Ottolenghi recipes for iso, followed by a list of times the Opera House has narrowly dodged global disasters in movies. Timely, right? But it was our first ever virtual Escape Room that ultimately came out on top. This unique, interactive piece challenged our audience to #EscapeTheHouse by solving a series of puzzles and uncovering four hidden passwords. The piece even went international with stir crazy Escape Room nerdseverywhere getting in on the action!
Rumour has it there could be another on the way...
The battle for podcast supremacy was tightly fought – especially with new contender ‘House Stories' entering the fray – but this endleslly interesting It's a Long Story episode came out on top. All About Women 2019 headliner Tina Tchen has had quite the remarkable career. She’s worked as a top tier lawyer in the US, focusing on gender equity issues for over three decades. She’s worked for both Barack and Michelle while they were in the White House. And, most recently, she’s set up a Legal Defense Fund for, and is now CEO of, the (somewhat controversial) group Time’s Up. In this moving episode, host Edwina Throsby deep dives into this super hero’s origin story, from her parent’s escape from China, to fumbling first days and heartbreaking last days in the White House.
This performance alongside Warren Ellis is the perfect (free) companion to Nick Cave's acclaimed cinematic performance at Alexandra Palace. At the back end of 2019, pre the pandemic and temporary death of live music, Aussie royalty Cave and Ellis treated a mesmerised live audience to their enchanting film scores accompanied by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Philarharmonia Choirs. The collective euphoria of their encore performance of ‘Push The Sky Away’ earned this archival video the top spot. Cue the goosebumps.
This year has been unrelenting but one silver lining was witnessing Sydney’s very own cult punk heroes Low Life takeover the Digital Stage in their debut Opera House performance. To hype them up for their ferocious livestream, Cristian and Mitch from Low Life curated a Spotify ‘Love List’ as a homage to the Australian bands that shaped them, excited them and geed them up over the years. It’s essential listening for any punk / post-punk fanatic – as was just one of many playlists we've had the pleasure of curating from visiting guests this year.
Ziggy Ramo’s live show brings spectacle and ritual to his acclaimed ‘Black Thoughts’
Ziggy Ramo's debut album, Black Thoughts, is regarded as "one of the most important albums of this year" - NME. Journalist Daniel Browning breaks down how Ramo transforms his powerful messages for the digital stage.