Sydney Opera House Presents
Unmissable stories for the stage
Contemporary Performance presents ambitious world-class music theatre, cabaret, circus, magic, contemporary dance, theatre, comedy, immersive theatre and site-specific work from Australia and the world.
Curated by Ebony Bott, the vibrant program elevates the stories and the storytellers that are relevant right now. It champions the reinvention of art forms, contemporary retelling of the classics and the people and productions at the heart of pop-culture.
Dance, Theatre & Music Theatre
Recent highlights include The Little Prince a reimagining of the French classic by Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s combining movement, music, aerials and an ethereal narration.
Music theatre presentations include seminal 90s rock musical RENT; global pop hit SIX direct from the West End; Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights; Heathers: The Musical; Green Day’s American Idiot; cult classic American Psycho; crowd-pleaser Thrones! The Musical Parody; and cult ‘60s classic HAIR.
The Opera House has presented leading international productions from pre-eminent dance companies and choreographers including Akram Khan, Michael Keegan-Dolan, Michael Clark Company, Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Ballet Preljocaj, Sharon Eyal’s L-E-V Dance Company, Natalia Osipova and Hofesh Shechter OBE.
Cabaret & Magic
From the likes of Peepshow from acclaimed Australian company CIRCA to Limbo Unhinged and Blanc de Blanc Encore!, to Michael Feinstein, to James Galea’s BEST TRICK EVER, and The Choir of Man, entertaining shows thrill audiences with bold burlesque, captivating magic and exciting acrobatics. The program also includes large-scale spectaculars such as The Illusionists, Circus 1903, The Unbelievables and Cirque Stratosphere.
Contemporary Performance celebrates Australia’s world-class comedians, presenting Hannah Gadsby’s comedy phenomena Nanette and Douglas in the Concert Hall, and Body of Work in the Joan Sutherland Theatre, as well as comedy heroes Celia Pacquola, Sam Simmons, Wil Anderson, Tom Gleeson, Kitty Flanagan, Lano & Woodley, and Judith Lucy.
Stage Direction: The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s poignant tale of a young prince who visits different planets is both a reminder of our common humanity – and a salve for our late-capitalist world. Neha Kale looks at how the classic story lives on in the 21st century.
RENT's powerful message for now: love and hope, 25 years on
RENT is a distinctively 90s musical that has retained its relevance a quarter century later. Lenny Ann Low discusses the latest incarnation of the cult musical with its just-announced cast and crew.
Rosie Waterland's Six Things To Love About SIX
Rosie Waterland counts down the six reasons you must see this "Beyoncé concert disguised as a musical".
Ebony Bott, Head of Contemporary Performance
Ebony Bott has 18 years’ experience as a festival director, programmer, and creative producer in Australia and New Zealand, working across a variety of senior curatorial, marketing, and audience development positions. She was most recently Creative Director of Cabaret and Commercial at Adelaide Festival Centre (Jan 2018-Oct 2020) where she curated and delivered the award-winning Adelaide Cabaret Festival and the broader musical theatre and commercial program.
Prior to this, she was the Creative Producer of Families and Young People at Arts Centre Melbourne. She has worked in many leading Australian theatre companies in a range of marketing, producing, and directorial roles including Arena Theatre Company, Back to Back Theatre, Circus Oz as well in festival focused roles at the Australian Festival for Young People (Come Out) and New Zealand’s National Theatre for Children and Children’s National Arts Festival in Wellington. She has also worked as a freelance producer for Yana Alana & Tha Paranas; Dee & Cornelius; and contemporary dance artist Alison Currie.
At the Opera House, Ebony has recently established the Contemporary Performance Industry Development Initiative, implemented to provide pathways in the commercial performing arts sector. Recipients will be offered the opportunity to work alongside established creatives to develop their skills and increase their profile within the industry.