Thanks to the passion of our classical music donors and audiences, great orchestral music is woven into the fabric of the Sydney Opera House.
Bringing world orchestras to Australia
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The world’s great orchestras – Staatskapelle Berlin, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Berlin Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, London Symphony, I Musici – and classical artists – Nigel Kennedy, Cameron Carpenter, Steve Reich, Joanna McGregor, Florian Boesch, and many more – have all inspired Australian audiences at their Opera House-presented performances.
The world's greatest singers – Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Bryn Terfel, Lisa Gasteen, Emma Kirkby, Susan Bullock, Susan Graham, Les Arts Florissants, The Sixteen and many more – have thrilled Australian audiences at their Opera House-presented performances.
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Meet the artists behind the projections | Badu Gili
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First Nations art on the sails
Badu Gili – meaning ‘water light’ in the language of the traditional owners of Bennelong Point, the Gadigal people – is a new daily spectacular seven-minute projection of First Nations art, illuminating the Opera House’s eastern Bennelong sail year-round at sunset and 7pm.
Curated by the Opera House’s Head of First Nations Programming, Rhoda Roberts AO, Badu Gili weaves together the work of five eminent First Nations artists from across Australia and the Torres Strait Islands, Jenuarrie (Judith Warrie), Frances Belle Parker, Alick Tipoti and the late Lin Onus and Minnie Pwerle.
Each year an artist of international renown is commissioned to create an original artwork for projection onto the Sydney Opera House that captures the spirit of the iconic landmark recognised as the cultural epicentre of Australia.
Andrew Thomas Huang’s Austral Flora Ballet is a hypnotic fusion of contemporary dance and motion capture technology that brings our botanic wonders to life as never seen before. Read an interview with the artist.
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The most exciting First Nations cultural experiences are an essential part of the Opera House. Songlines, which turned the Opera House’ sails into an an animated canvas of contemporary Australian Indigenous art in 2016, was experienced online by more than six million people worldwide. Dance Rite is Australia’s national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance competition, brought into existence through the vision of Opera House donors in 2015. It brings together communities from around Australia to revitalise, celebrate and maintain First Nations culture, dance, language and stories.
Schools can experience live performances at the Opera House, or via live-stream through our Digital Creative Learning program. Live, interactive, and free to all Australian public schools, this program also offers a unique suite of digital excursions that take students behind-the-scenes at Bennelong Point and extend the live performance program for deeper learning.
So many great contemporary artists – Laurie Anderson, Mary J Blige, Leonard Cohen, Crowded House, Bob Dylan, Florence + The Machine, Lauryn Hill, Kraftwerk, Nile Rodgers, Prince, Steve Reich, Patti Smith, Sting, Stone Roses, and so many more than can be listed here – have blown away Australian audiences at their Opera House-presented performances.
The best of contemporary dancers – Akram Khan Dance Company, DV8, Hofesh Schechter Company, Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, María Pagés, Mark Morris Dance Group, Nederlands Dans Theater, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Sylvie Guillem, TAO Dance Theatre, Hiroaki Umeda, Eva Yerbabuena, and more – have all moved Australian audiences at their Opera House-presented performances.
The world’s leading thinkers and cultural creators – Aung San Suu Kyi, Julian Assange , Alain de Botton, Noam Chomsky, Richard Dawkins, Geena Davis, Stephen Fry, Julia Gillard, Elizabeth Gilbert, Stephen Hawking, Paul Keating, Naomi Klein, Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Yoko Ono, Jennifer Saunders, David Suzuki, Alice Waters, John Waters, Wim Wenders, and hundreds more, have stimulated and provoked Australian audiences at their Opera House-presented appearances.
You play a vital role in treasuring and renewing the Opera House for future generations of artists, audiences and visitors, and ensuring the Opera House is open for everyone, for ever. See our generous donors.