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A Guide to UnWrapped November & December

The creations and performances from the independent artists of UnWrapped

Hannah Worrall
Sydney Opera House

UnWrapped is back with a line-up of shows that are unique, inspiring, and eclectic. Curated by Sydney Opera House Director of Programming Fiona Winning, get the lowdown on what to expect in this series with our handy guide to the program.

CRUSH

18 - 22 November

What is it?

Ever had a crazy idea for a science experiment but weren’t sure how to do it? Artists Lee Wilson Mirabelle Wouters, Mickie Quick and Phil Downing, the creative geniuses behind Helpmann Award winning Australian company Branch Nebula, have been in the lab doing just that: concocting experiments with everyday materials from Officeworks and Bunnings to push their bodies to their limits. 

These materials have been built into mind-boggling contraptions such as a catapult filled with cutlery to be flung across the room, or a sci-fi level suit of armour made of magnets and microphones. “Why?”, you might ask? Why not! This performance will have you literally on the edge of your seat.

The lowdown from Fiona

“Branch Nebula creates playful performance that puts the live body into strange and unexpected situations - right in front of our eyes. There’s no story and no artifice, but it is gripping. Two people on stage with some odd structures and a lot of stuff from Bunnings. They go about their business, playing with physical forces - gravity, magnetism, suction - and all the while asking critical questions like: can human beings be vacuum packed? Magnetised? Pressed flat? Can we get this object to sing? Or swing? Or make us disappear?”

A note from the artist - Lee Wilson

“I hope that [the audience] experience the rawness of it, the immediacy and viscerality, without pretence or artifice, and also a brutal dark humour, you gotta laugh don’t you? The way the work is intended as a composition of elements, sound generated within the performance, and also sampled and played live, the actions and tasks we carry out are brought into close proximity for the audience through amplification. The objects and materials manipulated to affect a reaction, the tension of a series of processes in the show where physics are materialized with an array of familiar and accessible items from your local hardware store. 

Within all of this, two humans working, compelled to find the edges of their physical being, and what’s out there beyond in time and space.”

You’ll like this if...

You want to put your artistic kudos to test while also feeding your inner physicist. A fun, and potentially dangerous, date night!

Buy tickets now

A Sydney Opera House co-commission as part of New Work Now, enabled by the Opera House’s Executive Team.

Vazesh

12 December

What is it?

A symbiotic clash of culture, style and genre creating something new and intrinsically unique. Vazesh is what happens when three outstanding musicians collaborate on a project that is entirely their own, breaking music down to the bare essentials and allowing their own musical identity to shine through. Comprising renowned Iranian tar player Hamed Sadeghi, saxophonist-bass clarinettist Jeremy Rose, and bassist Lloyd Swanton.

The lowdown from Fiona

“A collaboration between three virtuosic musicians who improvise with a fluidity and generosity that is boundless. The architecture of their improvisations is glorious, shifting from intertwining two and three-way conversations, to solos, to gentle whispering together.”

A note from the artist - Jeremy Rose

“Engaging traditional musical cultures poses potential challenges of authenticity and ethical boundaries. We reduce our music to the bare fundamentals and reconstruct it from the ground up: using vestiges of melody, rhythm and pitch from our various backgrounds as a pathway into free improvisations and musical exploration. The music weaves in and out of passages, moving from meditative soundscapes to immersive minimalist inspired riffs. There pertains remnants from each individuals' musical identity - echoes of Sadeghi’s Eishan Ensemble, Swanton’s work with the Necks, to my experiences in a range of improvised, classical, and jazz contexts. Improvisation liberates us from the shackles of tradition, allowing us to create something fresh and exciting each performance.”

You’ll like this if...

You see yourself as a music aficionado and want to discover something new.

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Zela Margossian Quintet

18 December

What is it?

A life’s journey around the world told through music. Born in Beirut and growing up in Armenia, Zela Margossian is a fascinating musician with influences from around the globe. With a sound that has been described as “kaleidoscopic”, this ARIA nominated ethno-jazz band will open your eyes to a whole new world of jazz.

The lowdown from Fiona

“Pianist Zela Margossian’s influences in traditional Armenian music and Jazz inform the sound of this wonderful quintet. The sound is richly textured infused with Armenian melody and percussion and the improvisational feel of contemporary jazz.”

A note from the artist - Zela Margossian

“The musical transition in my life resulted in compositions based on story-telling; each composition reflecting a state of mind or an experience or a period of time fixated in my being. As my life has taken me on different journeys starting from Lebanon, to Armenia and finally to Australia, the music similarly takes the listener to an exotic journey, full of energy, drama, and beauty. The band members, each expressing their own individuality in the music, contribute to the creation of what is the ‘sound’ of  Zela Margossian Quintet.”

You’ll like this if...

You’re dreaming of your next around the world holiday and want to escape Sydney for a night of bliss.

Buy tickets now

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You may also like...

CRUSH

Part DIY shed, part Medieval research centre, part obsessive Bunnings shopping spree, CRUSH blows up the boundaries of the physical body and mind. Get tickets for CRUSH now.

Vazesh

Captivating world music. Inspired poetic melodies. Soft blowing improvisations. Vazesh is a magnetic improvising trio comprised of renowned Iranian tar player Hamed Sadeghi, saxophonist-bass clarinettist Jeremy Rose, and bassist Lloyd Swanton. Get tickets to Vazesh now.

Zela Margossian Quintet

Enchanting rhythm. Effortless harmonies. Sophisticated jazz. Zela Margossian Quintet is an ARIA nominated ethno-jazz band with influences from Armenian traditional music.