What the Ocean Said James Brown, Alice Osborne and collaborators
31 August, 2 & 3 September 2023
In the Centre for CreativityKids & Families
Storytelling and Meditation
Ages 4+ | What The Ocean Said is a live experience for children aged 4+ and their grown-ups. A specially commissioned new storytelling and meditation experience with digital projections. This is a sensory world of vivid storytelling, dreamy electronic music, animation, and the wonder of our Sydney harbour.
Photo credit: Annabel Osborne
Thursday 31 August
Saturday 2 September
11am, 1pm, 3pm
|Sunday 3 September||
11am, 1pm, 3pm
$8.95 booking fee applies per transaction
Prices correct at the time of publication and subject to change without notice. Exact prices will be displayed with seat selection. Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times.
The authorised agency for this event is Sydney Opera House. For more information about Authorised Agencies, see the frequently asked questions below.
General Public tickets on-sale
4pm, Thursday 16 February 2023
The duration of this event is 60 minutes.
Event duration is a guide only and may be subject to change.
Suitable for ages 4+.
Young people under the age of 15 must be accompanied at all times.
Written and directed by James Brown and Alice Osborne
Concept and musical score: James Brown
Video Design: Solomon Thomas
Set design: Angus Callander
Performer: Micaela Ellis
Original performer: Nikita Waldron
A sensory world of projections and vivid storytelling
What The Ocean Said is a relaxing storytelling experience for children and their grownups. You are invited to relax in a sea of pillows amidst a magical space of calm. Follow the journey of a humpback whale diving deep into the water, and expanding into the reaches of the ocean itself. With mindfulness techniques wrapped up in a story time adventure, we’ll introduce younger children to meditation, and offer bigger kids a whole new perspective.
What the Ocean Said is a Sydney Opera House New Work Now commission, enabled by Jane & Russell Kift and by the Turnbull Foundation.
Presented by Sydney Opera House
James Peter Brown is known for his evocative and diverse music scores and sound designs. He has worked across a range of genres, from mainstage theatre and contemporary dance to film, documentary, animation, video games and virtual reality. His processes often involve creating music and sound in synchronicity with the development of a project, building connections between performance material and sound.
James’ collaborations with directors and producers often explore ethereal, emotive experiences that become part of the deeper exploration of character and storytelling.
He has developed continuing artistic relationships with artists and companies including Sydney Theatre Company (Constellations, Do Not Go Gentle, Lord of the Flies, Mosquitoes, The Deep Blue Sea, The Real Thing, Home I’m Darling) Bethesda (Fallout 4, Fallout 76, Fallout Shelter) Victoria Hunt (Tango Wai, Copper Promises) ERTH (Duba, Badu, Winter Camp, The Liminial Hour, Prehistoric Aquarium VR) SOIT (The Lee Ellroy Show, Messiah Run, We Was Them, Nomads) POST (Ich Nibber Dibber, Oedipus Schmoedipus) and Kristina Chan (A Faint Existence, Mountain, Brightness)
He holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Sydney College of the Arts, in which his focus was on composition and sound design for animation. He also holds a Master of Acoustic Physics from The University of Sydney, for which his thesis was on the physiological effects of low frequency sound on the body and mind.
Alice Osborne is a director, theatre maker and puppeteer. For Sydney Opera House, Alice has collaborated with primary school students in Western Sydney to create performance and film within the Creative Leadership in Learning program. Alice was Puppetry and Movement Director for THE WEEKEND and RUBY’S WISH (Belvoir St Theatre), the Australian production of WAR HORSE (National Theatre of Great Britain), THE SPLINTER (Sydney Theatre Company), DIARY OF A WOMBAT, POSSUM MAGIC and EDWARD THE EMU (Monkey Baa), ALPHABETICAL SYDNEY and BLACK SUN/BLOOD MOON (Critical Stages), and Justine Clarke’s LOOK LOOK IT’S A GOBBLEDYGOOK. As Performer, Alice was a member of Compagnie Philippe Genty (Paris), and My Darling Patricia (Sydney). She co-created and performed FALLING WOMAN (Performance Space). Her television credits as Puppeteer include DIDI & B (Nickelodean), ME & MY MONSTERS, FIVE MINUTES MORE, FARSCAPE (The Jim Henson Company), and THE UPSIDE DOWN SHOW (Sesame Workshop). Alice holds a Bachelor of Theatre/Media from Charles Sturt University, Bathurst. She also holds a Master of Occupational Therapy, from The University of Sydney, and is a registered Occupational Therapist working in inpatient mental health.
Solomon Thomas is a theatre maker and performer currently situated in Sydney. He explores the intersection between the physical and digital in theatre, experimenting with how theatre and film can co-exist in a live context. He works as a performer, puppeteer, theatre maker and video designer and is driven by how these practices meet formally.
He graduated with BCA Honours in Performance from the University of Wollongong in 2013 and for the past six years has been actively engaged in creating and performing work for both independent and main stage theatre. He is a core member of re:group performance collective, Monday Night Cards and Woodcourt Art Theatre. His collaborations include Jackson! Le Diner Est Pret! (Woodcourt Art Theatre, 2013), The Encounter (Adelaide Fringe, 2014 and La Mama, 2016, LOVELY (PACT, 2015), Tom William Mitchell (Woodcourt Art Theatre, 2017 and Merringong, 2018), Kraken Play (Crack Theatre Festival, 2017), Spacejunk (Sydney Observatory, 2018), Lifestyles of the Richard and Family (Next Wave, 2018) and Return to Escape From Woomera (Liveworks, 2018). Solomon has worked as a performer on Nick Cave’s Heard (Sydney, 2016), My Darling Patricia's The Piper (Sydney Festival, 2014 and the Edinburgh Fringe, 2015) and in development with Branch Nebula, Applespiel, Studio A, Chiara Guidi, and Erth. Solomon is currently a puppeteer with Erth Visual & Physical Inc (2014-19) and has toured with them throughout the UK, UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and Japan.
Angus Callander is a visual artist and designer based in Sydney. His art practice focuses on how the visual language of modernism can be reappropriated to influence our understanding of the physical world and the overlay of information we impose on it. His work crosses the mediums of painting, sculptural construction and digital animation. He graduated from The University of Sydney in 2012 with a Bachelor of Design in Architecture and in 2015 graduated from the National Art School with a Bachelor of Fine Art majoring in painting. As a designer he works across architecture, film, TV and theatre.
Nikita is an actor and writer. She is a graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art(NIDA), completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting in 2017. Her theatre credits include Rules for Living, Lord of the Flies and Mosquitoes at Sydney Theatre Company, The Wolves and An Enemy of the People at Belvoir St Theatre, girl friend at Belvoir’s 25a, and Youth & Destination at KXT for Manifesto Theatre Company.
Her feature film credits include The Bystander Trials directed by Katherine Millard, Palm Beach directed by Rachel and Top End Wedding directed by Wayne Blair. And, the short films Pearly Gates directed by Meg Clarke and Trigger Happy written and directed by Sunshine Grace. Her TV credits include The Letdown (Series 2) directed by Trent O’Donnell for NETFLIX and Random and Whacky (Series 2) directed by Keaton Stewart and Monica O’Brien for Ambience Entertainment.
Prior to NIDA, Nikita commenced a Bachelor of PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) at ANU. While at ANU, she directed and produced a production of Cosi which was nominated for Best Director, Best Production and won Best Ensemble at the Canberra Area Theatre Awards.
Nikita has also written, produced and acted in a web series titled Your Mates, working closely with the late actor-director Jess Falkholt to complete the pilot episode, shortly before her passing. Her debut play Falling, was shortlisted for Playwriting Australia’s Max Afford Award in 2020. Nikita is the 2021 recipient of the Rebel Wilson Comedy Commission for Australian Theatre for Young People.
Our foyers will be open 90 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and 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.
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 six min walk to the Opera House.
The health and wellbeing of everyone attending the Opera House is our top priority. We’re committed to making your experience safe, comfortable and enjoyable, with a number of measures in place including regular cleaning of high-touch areas, air conditioning systems that maximise ventilation, and hand sanitiser stations positioned in all paths of travel. We encourage you to wear a mask in indoor settings or when physical distancing can’t be maintained, and please stay home if you feel unwell. If you need to discuss your ticketing or booking options, contact our Box Office team on 02 9250 7777.
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.
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.
The Sydney Opera House no longer requires patrons to show that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask.
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
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. Please 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.
Details of our right to refuse admission can be found in our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Events.
In accordance 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 Concert Hall and 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.
Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times. Babies aged 0-2 years old at the time of a performance may be seated on an adult’s lap. Children 2 years and older will need to hold a standard ticket.
Children under the age of 12 are not required to wear a face mask.
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.
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 about flexible ticketing options.
Foyers will be open 90 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars.
The venue doors will be open 45 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 30 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances.
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.
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 consistent with COVID-safe rules.
The Opera House is committed to the safety and wellbeing of children that visit or engage with us. For more information please download the Child Safety Policy which includes the Child Safety Code of Conduct.
The Opera House has also developed a Child-friendly Code of Conduct to engage with our youngest visitors.
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