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Sydney Opera House presents new program of live performances streamed online from the Joan Sutherland Theatre stage

Sydney – Tuesday 5 May 2020. From this week, the Sydney Opera House will introduce new and live-streamed performances to its successful digital program From Our House to Yours, streamed online from the Joan Sutherland Theatre stage to audiences around the world.

Complementing the existing program of full-length performances, talks and never-before-seen footage released weekly on the Opera House website, the new live events will feature intimate performances from local Australian artists and creatives from inside the Joan Sutherland Theatre. While closed to the public, the famous venue has been temporarily redesigned and reimagined as a live-streamed stage.

Sydney Opera House Head of Digital Programming Stuart Buchanan says: “The community has been incredibly responsive to From Our House to Yours, and we’re thrilled to now be able to present a vital live element to our digital offering, continuing to uplift, inspire and connect with audiences while our physical venues are closed to the public.

“The creativity shown by the arts community during this time has encouraged us to evolve our weekly Digital Season to explore new forms of digital programming that connect with audiences in real time. The Opera House is committed to supporting artists, staff and the wider industry and we’re excited to be able to invite local talent to perform inside the Joan Sutherland Theatre, streaming live from our stage to your screens.”

The lights of the Joan Sutherland Theatre will be switched on weekly each Saturday night for a diverse presentation of artists and genres including comedy, cabaret, music, dance, talks, panel discussions, and stage readings.

The first live stream on Saturday 9 May at 8pm AEST will be an intimate performance by one of Australia’s favourite jazz vocalists Emma Pask and her three-piece band, followed by the premiere of a new Talks & Ideas series: Thinking Through a Crisis on Sunday 10 May at 4pm AEST with multi award-winning novelist and essayist Charlotte Wood. The first of a four-part conversation series hosted by Sydney Opera House Head of Talks & Ideas Edwina ThrosbyThinking Through A Crisis will invite leading speakers and thinkers to reflect on the far-reaching impact of COVID-19 on all aspects of our lives.

Emma Pask says: “It is with feelings of immense honour and excitement that I will be the first to perform live for From Our House to Yours. Joined by my trio, some of the finest musicians in Australia, we will be bringing one of our live shows to everyone around the world who is having to keep themselves at home. Now more than ever, the world is reaching out to the arts in all its forms, to assist them through this incredibly difficult time. Although our live performance future isn’t clear, we are craving to reconnect with our audiences. On Saturday we’ll be looking down that camera and giving you our all, knowing that if we close our eyes, you will be right there with us.”

These two new events form part of the Opera House’s sixth weekly Digital Season, released daily from Wednesday to Sunday on the Opera House website.

  • Wednesday 6 May, 4pm AEST: The Great Illusionist – an event to captivate the whole family, this award-winning, multilayered production from the Netherlands’ acclaimed Het Filiaal theatre makers draws inspiration from incredible illusionists and magicians like Ricky Jay, Penn & Teller and Chung Ling Soo.
  • Thursday 7 May, 8pm AEST: Bangarra Terrain  A hymn to country through contemporary dance, Terrain explores the relationship of Indigenous people to country and how landscape becomes a second skin, inspired by the timeless beauty of Lake Eyre in South Australia.
  • Friday 8 May, 8pm AEST: Ólafur Arnalds (Graphic 2015) PREMIERE  this specially-commissioned performance, two years in the making, will premiere with a brand new audio mix by BAFTA Award-winning pianist-composer Ólafur Arnalds, who leads a 13-piece chamber orchestra arranged by Viktor Orri Árnason with live visuals by Máni M. Sigfússon (Ásgeir).
  • Saturday 9 May, 8pm AEST: Emma Pask – Digital Season (Live) PREMIERE – award-winning Australian vocalist Emma Pask will return to the Opera House stage after her exhilarating performance in Hear Me Roar (2018). Known for her effortlessly honest stage presence and powerful vocal ability, Emma will transport audiences to the golden era of jazz with the support of her talented three-piece band.
  • Sunday 10 May, 4pm AEST: Thinking Through a Crisis: Charlotte Wood – Digital Season (Live) PREMIERE – best-selling, award-winning novelist Charlotte Wood will reflect on this extraordinary moment in time in an unmissable special event that will cut to the heart of our collective experience of a world gone still.

Since its launch, there have been over half a million views and downloads of From Our House to Yours performances, podcasts and content with Missy Higgins – Live from the Forecourt currently the most popular piece of content.


The health and safety of our valued artists and staff is the Opera House's number one priority. Artists will perform in a newly created space on the Joan Sutherland Theatre stage that strictly adheres to social distancing rules and NSW Government health and safety requirements.

The venue – Joan Sutherland Theatre

  • The second largest internal venue of the Opera House and the only venue with an orchestra pit.
  • Home to year-round performances from our Resident Companies Opera Australia and The Australian Ballet, the theatre also stages musicals, talks, comedy and contemporary music.
  • During COVID-19 the venue will have a permanent, minimal set up on the Joan Sutherland Theatre stage that has been adapted for broadcast events and caters to a variety of different genres, performance and presentation modes. 
  • There will be no audience and all of the live events operate within strict social distancing guidelines and with a maximum of six performers on stage at any one time.
  • All artists will be positioned in a 1.5 metre radius to respect social distancing guidelines on stage.
  • The length of performances are approximately 45 minutes on stage.
  • Up to five cameras will be positioned at various angles on the Joan Sutherland Theatre stage to capture the performances and ensure an immersive viewing experience for audiences.

Social distancing measures

  • A small technical team will be on site to deliver each event.
  • Every artist receives a separate fully sanitised microphone, and all equipment is disinfected with an alcohol-based cleaner after use.
  • Physical distancing will be respected by the crew and performers throughout the Opera House at all times.
  • Hand sanitiser is located inside the venue and at staff entry points to the Opera House.

Follow the latest releases in the Opera House’s digital program From Our House to Yours here.

For media information, please contact:

Ying-Di Yin
Communications Specialist / 0432 159 645

Kate Huish
Head of Public Relations / 0422 963 184