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Rahim AlHaj

Iraqi American Oud

Conversation/Performance

Join virtuoso oud musician and Grammy-nominated composer Rahim AlHaj in the Centre for Creativity for a special afternoon of performance and conversation.

In the Centre for Creativity | Performance & Conversation 

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.

Recommended for adults and young people ages 15+

This performance is available for adults and young people ages 15+

Pre-sale and on-sale information

Pre-sale timings:

  • Insider Member Priority – 9am, Tuesday 2 August
  • What's on Priority sale – 9am, Wednesday 3 August

General public on sale Friday 5 August, 9am

Saturday 22 October 2022

Saturday 22 October, 4pm

Standard tickets $29 | $8.50 Booking Fee applies per transaction

Ticket Description & price
  All tickets
Standard $29

The only authorised ticket agency for this event is the Sydney Opera House. For more information about Authorised Agencies, see the FAQ below. Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times. 

The duration of this event is 75 minutes

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

Want more from Rahim AlHaj? Hear the oud virtuoso perform Letters from Iraq for Utzon Music 2022 this Sunday 23 October. Find out more.

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An afternoon of performance and conversation 

Virtuoso Oud musician and Grammy-nominated composer, Rahim AlHaj was born in Baghdad, Iraq and began playing the Oud (the grandfather of all stringed instruments) at age nine. Now considered one of the finest Oud musicians in the world, AlHaj’s compositions are centred around his experiences and connection to his homeland.

Join Rahim in the Centre for Creativity for an intimate afternoon of performance and conversation, as he discusses his musical journey, the process of composition including the difference between Arabic classical music and Western classical music, and the stories behind his album Letters from Iraq.

Our conversation setting in the Centre for Creativity will include both chairs, soft furnishings and cushions for a relaxed and inspiring late afternoon musical exploration.

Presented by Sydney Opera House

Meet the Artist

Rahim AlHaj

Rahim AlHaj, virtuoso oud musician and composer, was born in Baghdad, Iraq and began playing the oud (the grandfather of all stringed instruments) at age nine. Early on, it was evident that he had a remarkable talent for playing the oud. Mr. Alhaj studied under the renowned Munir Bashir, considered by many to be the greatest oud player ever, and Salim Abdul Kareem, at the Institute of Music in Baghdad, Iraq. Mr. AlHaj won various awards at the Conservatory and graduated in 1990 with a diploma in composition. He holds a degree in Arabic Literature from Mustunsariya University in Baghdad.

In 1991, after the first Gulf War, Mr. AlHaj was forced to leave Iraq due to his activism against the Saddam Hussein regime and began his life in Jordan and Syria. He moved to the US in 2000 as a political refugee and has resided in Albuquerque, NM ever since. In 2015 Rahim was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honour for traditional arts in the USA.

Portrait of Rahim AlHaj

Venue Information

The Centre for Creativity will adhere to a maximum capacity of 1 person per two square metres, in line with the current NSW Public Health Order. 

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 - Workshops

Where is the installation/workshop located? 

The workshop is in our new Centre for Creativity at the end of the Western foyers, near the entrance to the Drama Theatre.

What if I am late for the installation/ workshop?

We will start promptly at the installation/workshop time, however if you are running late, please make your way to the Centre of Creativity where you can join the activity. 

Frequently Asked Questions - Performance & Venue

What time do I need to arrive before the event?

We advise that you arrive 15 minutes prior to 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.

I have access needs. How can the Opera House support me?

Please advise us upon booking if you have any particular learning or mobility needs for us to support

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.

Where does this event/workshop/installation happen?

The workshop happens in our new Centre for Creativity at the end of the Western foyers, near the entrance to the Drama Theatre

What if I can't come to the event?

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?

Food and beverages will not be allowed in the Centre for Creativity unless specified in the event. Opera Bar, Opera Kitchen and Portside are also available to purchase food before your event. Please bring a credit or debit card for any on-site purchases to enable contactless payment.

Will there be bag checks, and is cloaking available?

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 or as directed by Sydney Opera House staff, adhering to 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. 

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?

Bring and wear a mask. Face masks continue to be required for patrons aged 12 years and over while inside our foyers and theatres, including during the performance (unless medically exempt). We highly recommend children aged 11 years and younger wear a mask at all times. 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 attend the Opera House? 

Yes. Patrons and visitors aged 16 years and over entering the Opera House building are required to show that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless medically exempt (under 16s not fully vaccinated must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult). This includes visitors and patrons attending a performance or event, taking a tour, or visiting the box office, retail store, bar or restaurant operated within the building (Bennelong and Portside). These requirements do not apply to visitors attending outdoor events or venues on the Lower Concourse, including Opera Bar, Opera Kitchen and the Welcome Centre. Check-in processes will be in place for verifying proof of vaccination upon entry. 

Am I required to wear a mask?

Yes, please bring and wear a mask. Face masks continue to be required for patrons aged 12 years and over while inside our foyers and theatres, including during the performance (unless medically exempt). We highly recommend children aged 11 years and younger wear a mask at all times. Please bring your own mask.

Some members of the community may have issues wearing masks due to health conditions. We ask that you be respectful to others as reasons for not wearing a mask are not always obvious.

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.

Will my temperature be taken? 

In line with current NSW Health advice, we will not be carrying out temperature checks.

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