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ENCOUNTER SYDNEY

UnWrapped

After a rippin’ world premiere of ENCOUNTER in 2020, in Parramatta, Western Sydney, FORM Dance Projects, Emma Saunders and a new dance ensemble, the WE ARE HERE Company, are back with ENCOUNTER SYDNEY.

On the Forecourt | Dance

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.

Season runs from Wednesday 18 May to Saturday 21 May, 2022

Wednesday 18 May 4:30pm
Thursday 19 May 4:30pm
Friday 20 May 4:30pm
Saturday 21 May 4:30pm

Free event

ENCOUNTER is a free event. 

This show runs for 40 minutes with no interval

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

Suitable for all ages

Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times, and children under the age of 12 are not required to wear a face mask.

“We need more moments of ENCOUNTER.”

Wesley Enoch, Sydney Festival, Artistic Director, (2017-2021)

A work of joy made for the Forecourt

“Someone puts a boombox down on the concrete … I don’t get it, I don’t know how to be here …and I enter the space they’ve opened up and I dance.”
Felicity Castagna, ENCOUNTER, 2020.

Spread out on the forecourt of Sydney Opera House, directed by the “formidable” Emma Saunders, ENCOUNTER SYDNEY explores the everyday extraordinariness and energy behind our next generation.

In collaboration with a group of award-winning Australian artists, including writer, Felicity Castagna, composers, Amanda Brown (The Go-Betweens) and Jodi Phillis (The Clouds), a cast of 10 dancers and words spoken by Warren Foster, ENCOUNTER SYDNEY explores the indomitable spirit of youth and the world they find themselves in.

The riveting soundtrack to ENCOUNTER SYDNEY, is the original ENCOUNTER score performed and recorded by the musicians of the Western Sydney Youth Orchestra, conducted by James Pensini.

Director: Emma Saunders
Choreography: Emma Saunders in collaboration with the dancers
Writer: Felicity Castagna
Composers: Amanda Brown and Jodi Phillis
Orchestrator: Jessica Wells
Conductor: James Pensini
Visual Artist: David Capra
Spoken Word: Warren Foster
Dance Captains: Joshua O’Connor and Naomi Reichardt
Dancers: Julian Chan, Sarah Goroch, Gabriela Green Olea, Clayton Jean, Sarah Kalule, Lawrencea Mateariki, Sabrina Muszynski, Joshua O'Connor, Naomi Reichardt, Emily Yali
Musicians: Western Sydney Youth Orchestra
Costume Keeper: Quirine Van Nispen
Production Assistant: Jeremy Ainsworth
Producer: Annette McLernon

FORM Dance Projects
Commissioning Executive Producer:
Annette McLernon
Business Manager: Sally Ebert
Marketing Co-Ordinator: Naomi Hibberd
Encounter Photographer: Heidrun Lohr
Encounter Trailer: Dominic O’Donnell

Sydney Youth Orchestras
Chief Executive Officer:
Mia Patoulios

ENCOUNTER SYDNEY is proudly funded by the NSW Government through the Culture Up Late initiative.

ENCOUNTER and ENCOUNTER SOUTH were originally Commissioned and Produced by FORM Dance Projects, supported by Sydney Youth Orchestras and FLING Physical Theatre, for presentation in Four Winds SPRING Festival 2019 and Sydney Festival 2020.

Presented by Sydney Opera House
ENCOUNTER SYDNEY
Emma Saunders and the WE ARE HERE Company
Produced by FORM Dance Projects

ENCOUNTER SOUTH, FORM Dance Projects, Dir: Emma Saunders, Photo: Heidrun Löhr

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 60 minutes pre-show for 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

Can my family sit together?

Tickets purchased early will be sold in family groups within a designated seating zone, tickets purchased closer to the event will be sold in pairs. Please bear in mind that this will be subject to the restrictions in place at that time. Your confirmed seating allocation will be provided to you on the day of the performance when you receive your eTickets. To ensure correct capacities, all people in the theatre must hold a valid ticket. This includes babies aged 0-11 months who can be seated on a parents knee with the purchase of a Babes in Arm ticket ($10). Children 12 months and older will need to hold a standard ticket.

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 Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 30 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. It is encouraged that you 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. 

Ticketholders must comply with the directions of Opera House ushers to assist with contact tracing.

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 line 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 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?

  • All audience members, including babies, are counted toward the allowable capacity and must hold a valid ticket for admission.
  • A specific children’s price may be available on certain events. On others a standard ticket price may apply. 
  • For our Sydney Opera House Presents programming, babies aged 0-11 months at the time of a performance may be seated on a parent’s lap but they must hold a valid Babes in Arms ticket ($10) and children aged 12 months and older will need to hold a standard ticket. 
  • Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times.

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 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 to be purchased in the venue?

  • Foyers will be open 60 minutes pre-show for Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars, and should be consumed while seated in designated foyers spaces. 
  • Drinks purchased at our theatre bars can also be taken into venues for most performances. 
  • The venue doors will be open 45 minutes pre-show for Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 30 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. It is encouraged that you take your seats as soon as you arrive.
  • 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 in the Western Foyer adhering to COVID-safe rules.

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