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Welcome to the Pandemicene

Ed Yong & Raina MacIntyre

The climate crisis has created a unique situation that has the potential to breed many more viruses. So is Covid just the start? Then where do we go next?

Please be advised that Ed Yong will be joining via videolink from Washington DC.

Also available on Stream | 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, 11am

Session runs from 11am - 12pm

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 $85
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 the full day of talks online with a Festival Pass ($85), 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.

In English | Captioned | Audio loop available & wheelchair accessible

Captioned Performance: Captions are text descriptions that display the session's dialogue, identify speakers, and describe other relevant sounds that are otherwise inaccessible to people who are deaf or have hearing loss. To be seated in the area with best view of the screens please call 02 9250 7777 or email bookings@sydneyoperahouse.com

Find out more about accessibility at Sydney Opera House.


“The Anthropocene, an era defined by humanity’s power over Earth, is also an era defined by viruses’ power over us - a Pandemicene”

Ed Yong

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Global biosecurity is getting more relevant day by day

There's never been a better time to be a virus. The climate crisis is forcing animals to migrate to new habitats, creating new inter-species infections. The bad news? More and more of the world's viruses could leap from animals to humans. Which could mean that Covid is just the beginning. Welcome to the Pandemicene, an epoch of our own making. The repercussions are already felt in everyday human relationships, food supply chains, and the way we conduct business.

Join The Atlantic science journalist Ed Yong - who won a Pulitzer Prize for his COVID explanatory articles - and epidemiologist and UNSW Chair of Biosecurity Professor Raina MacIntyre. Together they will explain this new era, and just how we might begin to navigate it.

Presented by Sydney Opera House

Speakers

Back in 2018, award-winning science writer Ed Yong warned readers about the dangers an infectious disease outbreak would pose to public health in the United States. He had foreseen the country’s fragility in preparing and responding for an epidemic, from the chronic underfunding of healthcare and shortage of medical supplies to President Donald Trump’s inadequacies as a leader. When COVID-19 broke out in the United States in March 2020, Yong projected the repercussions if and when the virus become a national issue. Throughout 2020, he continued his exemplary reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, giving a full account of what went wrong, concluding that “almost everything that went wrong with America’s response to the pandemic was predictable and preventable.” Now, Yong discusses the pandemic’s impacts, resets expectations for the end of COVID-19, and maps out a path forward for the country.

For his exemplary coverage of the pandemic, Ed Yong has also won the George Polk Award for science reporting; the Victor Cohn Prize for medical-science reporting; the Neil and Susan Sheehan Award for investigative journalism; the John P. McGovern Award from the American Medical Writers Association; and the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award for in-depth reporting.

Ed Yong is also passionate about other areas in science. He is the best-selling author of I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us, a groundbreaking, informative, and entertaining examination of the relationship between animals and microbes. His second book, An Immense World, will take a comprehensive look at the fascinating sensory worlds of animals. In addition to The Atlantic, his work has appeared in National Geographic, The New Yorker, Wired, Nature, New Scientist, and Scientific American, among others.

Ed head shot

Raina MacIntyre (MBBS Hons 1, M App Epid, PhD, FRACP, FAFPHM) is Professor of Global Biosecurity, NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and Head of the Biosecurity Program at the Kirby Institute, UNSW, Australia. She leads a research program in control and prevention of epidemics, pandemics, bioterrorism and emerging infections. She is a graduate of Australia’s field epidemiology training program and has extensive field experience of outbreak investigation and control. She has led a large body of clinical trial, modelling and experimental research on vaccines and facemasks for prevention of respiratory transmissible infections.

She has developed EPIWATCH, an AI-driven epidemic observatory that harnesses open-source data, searches in over 40 languages, uses algorithms to sort and prioritize data, and has proven capability in early detection of serious outbreaks. She has over 400 peer reviewed publications. She has received many awards including the Sir Henry Wellcome Medal and Prize from the Association of Military Surgeons of the US. She is on the editorial boards of Vaccine, BMJ Open and Epidemiology & Infection. In 2021 she was on a US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine pandemic consensus committee, and is currently a member of the WHO COVID-19 Vaccine  Composition Technical Advisory group and the WHO SAGE Smallpox and Monkeypox working group.

Experience ANTIDOTE live on Stream

This year, Antidote will be livestreamed on Stream, Sydney Opera House's online streaming platform. 

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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 and Utzon Room. 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.