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First Nations at the Sydney Opera House

Upcoming performances, shows and events

Badu Gili: Celestial

Watch the sails illuminate with Badu Gili: Celestial, a new projection celebrating the work and stories of two female First Nations artists from Australia and New Zealand, created in collaboration between the Opera House, Biennale of Sydney and the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain.

9 – 10 Oct 2024 Kids & Families


Ages 3+ | In Bangarra’s first dedicated work for children, join our heroine Migi as she undertakes a journey of discovery and survival. 

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Jagamara photographed in black and white sitting on carpeted steps in front of the mural 'Possum Dreaming'.

Michael Nelson Jagamara

For those fortunate enough to meet him, he embodied the qualities of the quintessential bush gentleman. Dressed in his jacket and distinctive Akubra hat, he exuded a dignified presence, often sharing humorous anecdotes and stories. Whether in Papunya or New York, Alice Springs or Brisbane, Sydney or Vienna, Jagamara often struck up conversations with new friends and passers-by alike, introducing himself with a warm smile and a handshake, announcing, “Hello, I'm a famous artist!”

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Eternal History

Since its opening in 1973 the Opera House has carried a deeper legacy, one that embraces, challenges and celebrates Australian culture. 

But what of Australia’s First Peoples and First Nations culture? How does a cultural institution like the Opera House celebrate First Nations work, or more specifically works for the stage? Has it always done so?

Liza-Mare Syron traces the history of First Nations theatre at the Sydney Opera House back to the buildings very first days.

Deadly Voices from the House

A podcast that takes intimate interviews with First Nations artists and leaders to the world.

Acclaimed presenter, journalist, actor, producer and arts guru Rhoda Roberts AO presents Deadly Voices from the House, recorded live from Sydney Opera House. Featuring a diverse selection of guest appearances from prominent First Nations leaders from the music, arts and culture sector. Deadly Voices from the House provides an important platform to discuss critical issues and explore the vibrancy and diversity of contemporary culture.

Michael Nelson Jagamara wearing a beige suit jacket over a blue and white checked shirt and wide brim hat, standing in front of an artwork in pastel colours.

A Possum Story

Michael Jagamara was born into and revelled in a time of great change and opportunities. Following the end of World War II, abstract expressionism had arrived in the Australian art world and Sidney Nolan completed his Ned Kelly series. Also in that year, in the north part of Western Australia, in an amazingly unread, event, at least 800 Aboriginal pastoral workers walked off the job and began one of the longest industrial strikes in Australian history.

Badu Gili’s Frances Belle Parker

We talk to Frances Belle Parker, one of the five Badu Gili artists, about her work, her motivation and how she’s used the Opera House’s sails as a blank canvas.

Deborah Mailman on Rhoda Roberts’ “remarkable” 16 years at the Sydney Opera House

Few people have had as much influence on what takes place in these hallowed halls as Rhoda Roberts. This month, she finishes her incredible stint at the Opera House. We spoke to actress and Trustee Deborah Mailman about Robert's everlasting impact.

Music for... Love by Budjerah

Teen R&B sensation Budjerah has themed his playlist around love, and all the daydreaming and sweet talking that comes with a budding romance. Listen in, then tune in to his exclusive Opera House show for Liminal.

Why NAIDOC matters

We ask some of our Opera House family – performers and artists who take centre stage during this week of celebration – to discuss this year's NAIDOC theme and to unpack why the week matters to them.

Ensemble Offspring | Composing Songlines

Celebrating the unique music which has been created by First Nations Australian composers in the past 5 years as part of Ngarra-Burria: First Peoples Composers program, this special concert featuring the compact chamber force of Ensemble Offspring places these ancient musical voices reflecting land, nature, history and deep culture at the forefront of living art music in Australia.

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Career development opportunities

The Sydney Opera House is committed to providing hands-on experiences to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, which can lead to employment opportunities.

For further information about these career opportunities,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be great and learn more about our culture at the Opera House.

Courtney, Work Experience Program participant, FY17

Discover Tubowgule

Explore the history of the site where the Opera House stands.

The Opera House is committed to providing educational, professional development and cultural opportunities for First Nations communities. Whether through work experience, curated performances, such as the annual DanceRites festival, or the daily lighting of the sails, the generous contributions of our visitors and friends allows us to create a positive impact in the lives of our communities.

Support the Sydney Opera House by giving a gift and helping to foster and celebrate a shared sense of belonging for all Australians. 

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