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The Joan Sutherland Theatre

The Happy Prince

As a result of a medical issue, Graeme Murphy, choreographer for The Australian Ballet’s scheduled seasons of The Happy Prince, will be unable to create his production at this time.

In place of The Happy Prince season in Sydney, The Australian Ballet will present Maina Gielgud’s much-loved production of the timeless love story Giselle, from 1 to 18 May at Sydney Opera House. The Australian Ballet are very pleased that they’re able to present this landmark production for their Sydney audiences after its stunning Melbourne season in 2018.

Both The Australian Ballet and Sydney Opera House wish Graeme Murphy a speedy recovery. The Australian Ballet hope to welcome him back to their studios later this year to complete The Happy Prince for its world-premiere season in 2020.

Existing Happy Prince ticket buyers have been automatically assigned tickets in the new season of Giselle. If you’d like to discuss exchanges or refunds, please contact The Australian Ballet or Sydney Opera House, depending on whom you purchased your tickets from.

Contact The Australian Ballet customer experience team on 1300 369 741 or email

Call the Sydney Opera House Box Office
at 02 9250 7777 or

The Australian Ballet thank you for your understanding and look forward to seeing you in the theatre soon.

“Australia’s most brilliant choreographer ... we’ve always basked in the light he casts.”

The Sydney Morning Herald on Graeme Murphy

This Event is:


“High above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince …”

Oscar Wilde’s lyrical story of a statue who gives his all to help humanity is full of poetic beauty, heartbreak, sly humour and sharp social commentary. In 2019, Graeme Murphy, who created The Australian Ballet’s acclaimed modern versions of Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, turns his flair for transformative storytelling to Wilde’s moving tale. The possibilities for dance in Wilde’s characters – the golden Prince, his loyal friend the Swallow, the seductive Reed, the pitiful Match Girl – will be fabulously realised in Murphy’s distinctive choreographic style.

This all-Australian world premiere will feature a specially commissioned score from the renowned composer Christopher Gordon, who composed the scores for the films Mao’s Last Dancer and Master and Commander, alongside the work of award-winning artist and director Kim Carpenter, who adapted the story and created the colourful design,for the ballet.

Playful and poignant, The Happy Prince will capture children’s imagination with its vivid spectacle and adults’ attention with its timely message: a kind heart shines
brighter than gold.

Presented by The Australian Ballet.

The Australian Ballet 2019 Season

In 2019, The Australian Ballet takes you beyond the everyday and into magical worlds, capturing your imagination with passionate love stories, timeless fables and dancing that will take your breath away.

Artist Information

Based on the story by Oscar Wilde
adapted by Kim Carpenter and Graeme Murphy
Choreography Graeme Murphy
Creative Associate Janet Vernon
Composer Christopher Gordon
Set and costume design Kim Carpenter
Lighting design Damien Cooper
Projection design Fabian Astore

The Music of the Dance

Pre-show talk

Free with your performance ticket
8 May
Time: 12pm (before the 1.30pm performance)
Location: Joan Sutherland Theatre Northern Foyer
Duration: up to 60 minutes

What is dance without music? Music Director and Chief Conductor of The Australian Ballet Nicolette Fraillon gives you the view from the pit as she illuminates the scores for the company's 2019 productions, telling vivid stories of the composers’ lives, giving cultural context and bringing in the musicians’ perspective. 


Post-show Q&A 

Free with your performance ticket
 6 May
Time: after the 6.30pm performance
Location: Joan Sutherland Theatre
Duration: up to 30 minutes

How long do dancers rehearse for a performance? How do they change their costumes so quickly? Do they follow the conductor, or the other way round? Stay on after the show to put your burning questions to Artistic Director David McAllister, the conductor and two of the dancers from the performance. 


Frequently Asked Questions

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