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UnWrapped - new program of independent voices and contemporary Australian work

Sydney – Monday 26 October, 2020. The Sydney Opera House has announced the latest offering of live music and physical theatre as part of its UnWrapped season of diverse, rarely seen and critically acclaimed work curated by Sydney Opera House Director of Programming, Fiona Winning.

Launched in 2018, UnWrapped includes contemporary performance work across dance, music, live art and theatre. It is part of the Opera House’s broader Artist & Sector Development initiative, through which Australia’s preeminent performing arts centre supports independent Australian artists and small-to-medium companies creating new, risk-taking work.

Sydney Opera House Director of Programming and UnWrapped Curator, Fiona Winning, says: “We are thrilled to welcome audiences back to the Opera House to witness these beautifully crafted works from some of Australia’s most boundary-pushing performance-makers and musicians.

"Each of these works promises to give audiences the chance to experience true artistry and experimentation. From Branch Nebula’s mind-bending physical prowess, to the poetic melodies of improvisational trio Vazesh, and Zela Margossian’s kaleidoscopic compositions with influences from Armenian traditional music, this program draws on the rich ecology of our independent arts sector.”

The UnWrapped series for November – December 2020 will feature:

Branch Nebula: CRUSH
Playhouse, 18 – 22 November 2020

The Helpmann Award-winning Sydney company Branch Nebula (Lee WilsonMirabelle WoutersMickie Quick and Phil Downing) who brought us High Performance Packing Tape last year have been back in the lab, fixated on phenomena like pressure, vacuum, gravity, magnetism – and slimy, gloopy stuff. Part DIY shed, part Medieval research centre, part obsessive Bunnings shopping spree, CRUSH tests the boundaries of the physical body and mind. Commissioned by Sydney Opera House’s New Work Now program, this brand new physical performance is filled with mind-blowing experiments and jaw-dropping phenomena.

Utzon Room, Saturday 12 December 2020

This improvisational trio whose name means to ‘blow softly’ features renowned Iranian tar player Hamed Sadeghi (Eishan Ensemble), award-winning saxophonist and bass clarinettist Jeremy Rose (The Vampires, Earshift Orchestra) and bassist Lloyd Swanton (The Necks, The Catholics). Inspired by the melodies of traditional Persian music, this exciting collaboration will perform an exploration of musical discovery described as ‘a three-way conversation…like three wind-chimes bouncing off each other’ (Sydney Morning Herald).

Zela Margossian Quintet
The Utzon Room, Friday 18 December 2020

The Zela Margossian Quintet is an ARIA-nominated group based in Sydney, performing original works and arrangements carrying influences from traditional Armenian music. Featuring Zela Margossian as pianist and leader, Jacques Emery (double bass), Adem Yilmaz (percussion), Stuart Vandergraaff (woodwind) and Alexander Inman-Hislop (drums), the Zela Margossian Quintet expertly weave jazz rhythms with middle-eastern soundscapes reflecting the rich and colourful cultures they represent. 

Since its premiere as a biannual series in May 2018, UnWrapped has featured acclaimed work by new artists, and new kinds of work by established artists. The program has included inventive and risk-taking contemporary performance work including: Brian Lipson and Gideon Obarzanek’s Two Jews walk into a theatre; Mojo Juju’s Native Tongue; Kristina Chan’s A Faint Existence; Genoa Gela’s My UrrwaiMother’s Ruin: A Cabaret About Gin; Jodee Mundy Collaborations’ Personal; and Lucy Guerin Inc’s Split.

For media information, please contact:

Julia Barnes
Senior Communications Manager / 0402 678 589

Kate Huish
Head of External Communications / 0422 963 184