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Ukraine Has Changed Us

Maria Tumarkin, Serhiy Zhadan, Billie Tumarkin, Anatoli Torjinski & Olga Boichak

What can we learn from Ukraine?

When witnessing the atrocities in Ukraine, it is difficult to know how to respond. Here, we offer a time to come together and honour the incredible Ukrainian art, music and poetry in our midst.

Please be advised that Serhiy Zhadan will be joining via video link.

Live in-person event | Utzon Room | Talks & Ideas

COVID-safe and event information

The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone at the Opera House is our priority. When you return to the Opera House, you will notice some important changes that have been implemented to keep the community safe, which are regularly reviewed and updated in consideration of the Public Health Order prevailing at the time. Please follow our conditions of entry at all times:

  • Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask;
  • As you move around the Opera House, practise physical distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage; and
  • Within venues, always take your allocated seat.

Please refer to our updated General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events for detailed information about our ticketing policies. These conditions may change between the time of purchase and the event date. Ticketholders will be contacted directly regarding any changes to their event.

Please check our plan your visit page prior to attending the Opera House for the most up-to-date information.

Pre-sale and on-sale information

Multipacks

Insider Member Priority – 9am, Tuesday 28 June

Single Tickets 

Insider Member Priority – 9am, Tuesday 28 June
What's on Priority sale – 9am, Wednesday 29 June
General public on sale – 9am, Friday 1 July

Sunday 11 September 2022, 6.30pm

Session runs from 6.30pm - 7.30pm

Standard tickets from $33 | $8.50 Booking Fee applies per transaction Save up to 15% with a festival Multipack | Livestream tickets from $15

Ticket Unreserved Seating
Standard
$33
Insider (Save 20% on this performance) $26.40
Multipack Buy 3 - 4 events and save 10%  $29.70
Multipack Buy 5+ events and save 15%  $28.05
Livestream $15
Livestream festival pass $55
Babes in arms $10

Prices correct at the time of publication and subject to change without notice. Exact prices will be displayed with seat selection. Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times

The authorised ticket agency for this event is Sydney Opera House and Vimeo. For more information about Authorised Agencies, see the FAQ below.

Enjoy a selection of talks online with a Festival Pass ($55), or purchase an individual livestream ($15). Purchase here.

This talk runs for approximately 60 minutes (no interval)

Event duration is a guide only and may be subject to change.


“...my soldiers are the words I wield”

Vasyl Stus, Ukrainian poet

Close

The tragedy we will carry in our hearts

Join us for this special event featuring selected poets, musicians, and storytellers responding to the brutal invasion and ongoing war.

Celebrated Ukrainian poet Serhiy Zhadan, recently nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, shares his poetry from Kharkiv, where he has been working in support of the defence of Ukraine. Olga Boichak reveals the networks of craftivist resistance that have sprouted up in Ukraine since the invasion. Ukrainian-Jewish-Australian writer Maria Tumarkin reads her letter to Australia with hard truths about shame and love of one’s country and the violence we inflict with our indifference. With musical response from vocalist Billie Tumarkin, and cellist Anatoli Torjinski.

Presented by Sydney Opera House

Speakers

Maria head shot

Maria Tumarkin was born and raised in Kharkiv, Ukraine. She is the author of four books of ideas. Her fourth (and latest) book Axiomatic won the 2018 Melbourne Prize for Literature and was named a New Yorker Top 10 Book of 2019. Tumarkin collaborates with visual artists, musicians and other writers. She is a recipient of the 2020 Windham Campbell Prize in the category of nonfiction. Tumarkin holds a PhD in cultural history and teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Melbourne.

Serhiy head shot

Serhiy Zhadan, widely considered to be one of the most important young writers in Ukraine, is the author of Mesopotamia and What We Live For, What We Die For: Selected Poems.Serhiy Zhadan was born in Starobilsk, Luhansk oblast, in 1974.  He has published over two dozen books, and translations of his work appear in PEN Atlas, Eleven Eleven, Mad Hatters Review, Absinthe, International Poetry Review, and more. In 2014, he received the Ukrainian BBC’s Book of the Decade Award, and he won the BBC Ukrainian Service Book of the Year Award in 2006 and again in 2010.

Billie head shot

Billie Tumarkin is a classically trained Ukrainian–Jewish–Australian singer. Tumarkin transforms songs from the past half-millennia into embodied lamentations and celebrations of the present. A chanteuse in over a dozen languages, she is a graduate of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Tumarkin’s last major performance was ‘When Women Speak of War’ presented by FOJAM at Melbourne’s National Theatre.

Anatoli head shot

Renowned Ukrainian Cellist Anatoli Torjinski specialises in alternative styles, improvisation and different types of sound production including ponticello, harmonics, percussion, hammering, slapping and pizzicato on his cello. His influences include string players such as Stephan Grappelli and Jean Luc Ponty, and as a former rock guitarist, he has also drawn from Jimi Hendrix, Richie Blackmore and Jimmy Page. His work has had him nominated in the Aria Awards for Best Record of 2001 in the Aussie –based World Music category. In 2003 he went on to win an Aria Award for Best World Music Album playing with Monsieur Camembert.

 

 

Olga head shot

Olga Boichak is a Lecturer in Digital Cultures at the University of Sydney. She is a sociologist whose interests span networks, narratives, and cultures of activism in the digital age. Boichak is an editor of the Digital War journal and the author of a number of commentaries and publications on contemporary Ukraine. Her scholarship adds a participatory dimension to contemporary wars with a focus on algorithmic citizenship, volunteering, and transnational humanitarianism. Prior to becoming an academic, Boichak ran a survey research centre and served as Ukraine’s youth delegate to the United Nations. She is the recipient of several fellowships and awards, including the Young Generation Will Change Ukraine, Fulbright, and the SOAR Prize.

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Venue Information

Performances are being sold to 100% capacity in line with the NSW Public Health Order. This includes all shows in the Concert Hall, Joan Sutherland Theatre, Studio, Playhouse, Drama Theatre, Utzon Room and Forecourt. Please note that you will be seated directly alongside other ticketholders.

Our foyers will be open 90 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars. Please remember to maintain physical distancing whilst consuming drinks in our foyers.

All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to all foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres in the Western Foyer consistent with COVID-safe rules.

Transport options

  • We encourage you to use private transport options to minimise crowding on public transport (in line with NSW Government advice). 
  • The Sydney Opera House Car Park, operated by Wilson Parking, is open and available to use. Wilson Parking offer discounted parking if you book ahead. Please see their website for details.
  • Please check the Transport NSW website for the latest advice and information on travel and COVID-19 safety measures. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 min walk to the Opera House. 

Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19 Safety Measures

What safety measures have you implemented?

Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of everyone on site, and we are closely following NSW Health guidelines and advice. The Sydney Opera House is registered as a COVID Safe business with the NSW Government. For detailed information about our COVID-19 safety measures and what’s required of you when visiting, please see our plan your visit page.

What am I required to do as an audience member?

Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask.

As you move around the Opera House, practise physical distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage.

Within venues, always take your allocated seat.

For detailed information about our COVID-19 safety measures and what’s required of you, please see our plan your visit page.

Do I need to be vaccinated to visit the Sydney Opera House?

The Sydney Opera House no longer requires patrons to show that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Am I required to wear a mask?

Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask.

How are you managing contact tracing? 

Contact information is required when making a booking with us and upon arrival at the Opera House, as set out in our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events and our Customer Privacy Statement.

As the ticket purchaser, you are responsible for recording the contact details of your guests. Contact information will only be used for the purposes of contact tracing, if required, and will be deleted at least 28 days after your event.

Frequently Asked Questions - Performance and Venue

What time do I need to arrive before the event?

Ticket purchases and collection at our Box Office is discouraged and eTicket or postal delivery methods should be used, wherever possible. However, if you are collecting your tickets from the Box Office, we recommend doing this at least 60 minutes before the event starts. If you have already received your tickets, the venue doors will be open 45 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 30 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Please take your seats as soon as you arrive. 

If you are late, we will seat you as soon as we can and, where possible, in your allocated seat. However, to reduce movement in the venue as well as minimise disruption to the performance and other patrons, ticketholders may be seated in an allocated latecomer’s seat. Please be aware that some events have lock-out periods. In these cases, latecomers will be admitted at a suitable break in the performance. On occasions, this may not be until the interval, or at all where there is no interval. 

Details of our right to refuse admission can be found in our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Events.

Will there be bag checks, and is cloaking available?

In accordance with our venue security procedures, Opera House security will be scanning and checking bags under the Monumental Stairs, prior to entering the building. Bags will be scanned by an x-ray machine, and staff will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling your belongings, such as gloves. Cloaking facilities will be open 60 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 60 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. However it is strongly encouraged that you travel lightly to minimise contact and queuing. Any bags larger than an A4 piece of paper will need to be checked into the Cloak Room.

Can my baby sit on my lap?

Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times. Babies aged 0-2 years old at the time of a performance may be seated on an adult’s lap. Children 2 years and older will need to hold a standard ticket.

Does my child need to wear a face mask?

Children under the age of 12 are not required to wear a face mask.

Who are the authorised ticket sellers for this event? 

The authorised agency for this event is the Sydney Opera House.

Only tickets purchased by authorised agencies should be considered reliable. If you purchase tickets from a non-authorised agency such as Ticketmaster Resale, Viagogo, Ticketbis, eBay, Gumtree, Tickets Australia or any other unauthorised seller, you risk that these tickets are fake, void or have previously been cancelled. RESALE RESTRICTION APPLIES. For more details, please refer to our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events.

What if I can't come to my performance?

Please contact Box Office on 9250 7777 as soon as possible to advise if you can no longer attend. If you can no longer attend because you are unwell, or have been in contact with someone displaying COVID-19 symptoms, the Opera House has introduced flexible ticketing options to help you, find out more information here.

Will there be food and beverages available for purchase in the venue?

Foyers will be open 90 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars.

The venue doors will be open 45 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 30 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances.

Please bring a credit or debit card for any on site purchases to enable contactless payment. You’re welcome to bring your own water bottle but no other food and drinks are permitted inside our venues. Opera Bar, Opera Kitchen and Portside are also available for you to enjoy.

Will there be pram parking at kids performances?

All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to the foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres consistent with COVID-safe rules.

Can I smoke at the Opera House?

  • The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone at the Sydney Opera House is our top priority. In line with this commitment, the Opera House will become a smoke-free site from Saturday 1 January 2022.
  • By becoming a smoke-free site, the Opera House seeks to reduce exposure to harmful second-hand smoke, as well as minimise the impact of smoking on the environment, including litter and pollution of the surrounding marine environment.