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Isobel Sanby

Internship spotlight

Sydney Opera House

For the last 3 months, we have had the dazzling and dedicated Isobel Sanby take part in a producing internship, learning the ropes and providing much valued support for UnWrapped.

Read about what Isobel has learnt during the internship and what it has meant for her to be involved in this new and exciting program.

What did you learn during your time interning at SOH?

Coming into this experience I had a limited understanding of a producers role. Coming out of this experience, not only have I been able to learn and work with a number of inspiring and dedicated producers, I have also been mentored and educated by marketing, programming, event operations, partnerships and business. I have learnt about the logistics of a producers role, business plans, budgets, contracts, event briefs, research as well as the dedication to detail of putting on an event. An endearing role of the producer I have been able to recognize is understanding the importance of relationships in this industry. Nourishing those within the business and outside, working together to help the artistic sector flourish.

How valuable was this experience to your career and aspirations?

It has been invaluable in helping me harness skills and aspirations in the producing field. It has built my confidence in the professional field, broadened my spectatorship and participation in the contemporary performance realm and harnessed my experience in Event Management to compliment a producers role.  It has also opened me up to a number of career prospects that I didn’t know were there for me to begin with.

What's your favourite memory of your time at SOH?

Seeing the UnWrapped series come to life! By being with the project over a significant period of time it was a great experience to sit in the theatre and see the works come to life in the space. It was very rewarding to the project to feel the atmosphere of the audience who were all very complimentary of the initiative and exposure to new work.

What is the most unique thing about the Sydney Opera House?

We all know the building as one of the world’s most beautiful heritage sites, housing prestigious art. What we don’t know and what was the most unique experience, is the team of people who are striving to represent contemporary, unique performance from artists all over the world who come from all areas of the sector. Being able to witness the enthusiasm and engineering that goes into programming and bringing the event to an internationally renowned building is unparalleled.

Would you recommend the internship to other aspiring producers, and why?

If you are an aspiring producer, particularly from a tertiary study level this experience will be instrumental in forging your career path. You will gain an understanding of the industry, develop skills in producing administration and creation, as well as marketing and program coordinating. Working with Artist and Sector Development will also be an extremely interesting insight into what is going on within the artistic landscape today, the gaps and the initiatives that are striving to close them.

What’s next for you?

I am heading into my final year of my degree and this experience has inspired me to focus my studies on emerging artists and opportunities for them within the artistic sector nationally and internationally. I have also been, and will strive to apply the skills I have developed at the Opera House to my work as Co Theatre Director at St Lucy’s School for Special Education, event management at St George Open Air Cinema and a work for UNSW theatre society. I am very passionate about the arts and will continue to dive into opportunities and work across multiple platforms. This experience has amplified that passion.

“By being with the project over a significant period of time it was a great experience to sit in the theatre and see the works come to life in the space.”

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