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What The Ocean Said

with James Brown and Company

Storytelling and Meditation

Part guided meditation, part magical story, What The Ocean Said is a live experience for children aged 3 - 8 and their grown-ups. This is a sensory world of vivid storytelling, dreamy electronic music, animation, and wonder.

In the Centre for Creativity | Sydney Opera House Presents | Kids & Families

"Creativity is contagious. Pass it on."
Albert Einstein

A sensory world of vivid storytelling

What The Ocean Said is a live experience for children and their grown-ups. You are invited to relax into a sea of pillows amidst a magical space of calm. This is a world of dreamy electronic music, animation, and wonder. See through the eyes of a humpback whale diving deep into the water, and expand into the reaches of the ocean itself. With mindfulness techniques wrapped up in a storytime adventure, we’ll introduce younger children to meditation, and offer bigger kids a whole new perspective. 

What the Ocean Said is a Sydney Opera House New Work Now commission, enabled by enabled by Jane & Russell Kift and by the Turnbull Foundation.

Presented by Sydney Opera House

Meet the Artists...

James Brown - Director, Writer and Composer

James Peter Brown is known for his highly evocative, original and diverse music scores and sound design. 

Having worked professionally across a large range of genres, from mainstage theatre, film, documentary, animation, video games and virtual reality. His process often involves creating music and sound in synchronicity with the development of the project, creating a strong connection between the material and sound. 

His collaborations with directors and producers are often explorations of ethereal emotive experiences that become part of the deeper exploration of character and subject storytelling.

He has formed ongoing artistic collaborations with artists and companies  such as Sydney Theatre Company (Lord of the Flies, Mosquitoes, The Deep Blue Sea, The Real Thing, Home I’m Darling) Bethesda (Fallout 4, Fallout 76, Fallout Shelter) Victoria Hunt (Tango Wai, Copper Promises) ERTH (Duba, Badu, Winter Camp, The Liminial Hour, Prehistoric Aquarium VR) SOIT (The Lee Ellroy Show, Messiah Run, We Was Them, Nomads) POST (Ich Nibber Dibber, Oedipus Schmoedipus) and Kristina Chan (A Faint Existence, Mountain, Brightness).

He holds a visual arts degree from Sydney College of the Arts, where his focus was on composing and sound design for animation, and a Masters Degree in Acoustic Physics from Sydney University, where his thesis was on the physiological effects of low frequency sound on the body and mind.

James Brown headshot

Alice Osborne - Director and Writer

Alice Osborne is a director, puppeteer and movement artist. A member of Compagnie Philippe Genty (Paris), Alice performed Boliloc internationally in four languages. In Australia she worked extensively with My Darling Patricia and created the dance theatre work Falling Woman with Halcyon Macleod for Performance Space. As Puppetry and Movement Director her work includes the Australian production of War Horse (National Theatre of Great Britain), The Splinter by Hilary Bell for Sydney Theatre Company; Diary of a Wombat, Possum Magic and Edward the Emu for Monkey Baa Theatre; Ruby's Wish for Holly Austin; and Justine Clarke’s Look! Look! It's a GobbledygookK. Alice co-devised and directed How to Build  a Home with artists with disabilities for Everafter Theatre.  She holds a Bachelor of Theatre/Media from Charles Sturt University, Bathurst.

Alice animated the character ‘B’ in Nickelodean’s DIDI & B. Other television credits as puppeteer include: Me & My Monsters (The Jim Henson Company/ Sticky Pictures); Five Minutes  More (The Jim Henson Company/Buster Dandy Productions); Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars (The Jim Henson Company); The Upside Down Show (Sesame Workshop/Blink Films); Humpty's Big Adventure and Maurice's Big Adventure (ABC).

Recently, as part of Sydney Opera House’s Creative Leadership in Learning program, Alice has collaborated with primary school students and teachers in Western Sydney to create performance and film for Amplified Festival. She is currently undertaking a Master of Occupational Therapy at University of Sydney.

Alice Osborne Image

Nikita Waldron - Performer

Nikita is an actor and writer. She is a graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting in 2017. Her theatre credits include Rules for Living, Lord of the Flies and Mosquitoes at Sydney Theatre Company, The Wolves and An Enemy of the People at Belvoir St Theatre, girl friend at Belvoir’s 25a, and Youth & Destination at KXT for Manifesto Theatre Company.

Her feature film credits include The Bystander Trials directed by Katherine Millard, Palm Beach directed by Rachel and Top End Wedding directed by Wayne Blair. And, the short films Pearly Gates directed by Meg Clarke and Trigger Happy written and directed by Sunshine Grace. Her TV credits include The Letdown (Series 2) directed by Trent O’Donnell for NETFLIX and Random and Whacky (Series 2) directed by Keaton Stewart and Monica O’Brien for Ambience Entertainment.

Prior to NIDA, Nikita commenced a Bachelor of PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) at ANU. While at ANU, she directed and produced a production of Cosi which was nominated for Best Director, Best Production and won Best Ensemble at the Canberra Area Theatre Awards.

Nikita has also written, produced and acted in a web series titled Your Mates, working closely with the late actor-director Jess Falkholt to complete the pilot episode, shortly before her passing. Her debut play Falling, was shortlisted for Playwriting Australia’s Max Afford Award in 2020. Nikita is the 2021 recipient of the Rebel Wilson Comedy Commission for Australian Theatre for Young People.

Nikita Waldron headshot

Solomon Thomas - Video Designer

Solomon Thomas is a theatre maker and performer currently situated in Sydney. He explores the intersection between the physical and digital in theatre, experimenting with how theatre and film can co-exist in a live context. He works as a performer, puppeteer, theatre maker and video designer and is driven by how these practices meet formally. 

He graduated with BCA Honours in Performance from the University of Wollongong in 2013 and for the past six years has been actively engaged in creating and performing work for both independent and main stage theatre. He is a core member of re:group performance collective, Monday Night Cards and Woodcourt Art Theatre. His collaborations include Jackson! Le Diner Est Pret! (Woodcourt Art Theatre, 2013),  The Encounter (Adelaide Fringe, 2014 and La Mama, 2016, LOVELY (PACT, 2015), Tom William Mitchell (Woodcourt Art Theatre, 2017 and Merringong, 2018), Kraken Play (Crack Theatre Festival, 2017), Spacejunk (Sydney Observatory, 2018), Lifestyles of the Richard and Family (Next Wave, 2018) and Return to Escape From Woomera (Liveworks, 2018). Solomon has worked as a performer on Nick Cave’s Heard (Sydney, 2016), My Darling Patricia's The Piper (Sydney Festival, 2014 and the Edinburgh Fringe, 2015) and in development with Branch Nebula, Applespiel, Studio A, Chiara Guidi, and Erth. Solomon is currently a puppeteer with Erth Visual & Physical Inc (2014-19) and has toured with them throughout the UK, UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and Japan.

Soloman Thomas headshot

Angus Callander - Designer

Angus Callander is a visual artist and designer based in Sydney. His art practice focuses on how the visual language of modernism can be reappropriated to influence our understanding of the physical world and the overlay of information we impose on it. His work crosses the mediums of painting, sculptural construction and digital animation. He graduated from The University of Sydney in 2012 with a Bachelor of Design in Architecture and in 2015 graduated from the National Art School with a Bachelor of Fine Art majoring in painting. As a designer he works across architecture, film, TV and theatre. 

Angus Calander headshot

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 Wilson car park is open and available to use. Wilson Parking is currently offering a $10 discounted rate 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 - Performances

Frequently Asked Questions - Venue

Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19 Safety Measures

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