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Four Tet in the Concert Hall. Image: Mark Metcalfe

Letter from the Executive Director,
Performing Arts

Our Artistic Strategy 2018-2021 and beyond is clear. Performing Arts at the Opera House has a commitment to excellence in everything we do and a mandate for creativity, engagement and entertainment. We want audiences to be challenged, delighted, intrigued, thrilled, informed and entertained. Most of all, we want their Opera House experience to take them out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary.

Our artistic purpose can be distilled into three words:
To Be Unmissable.

This means offering audiences life-changing experiences that fulfil the Opera House’s vision: to be bold and inspiring in everything we do, living up to the promise inherent in our matchless building.

We operate in a rapidly changing cultural and social landscape. Audiences are more diverse and demanding than ever before, see technology as natural and indispensable, are knowledgeable and curious, value individual experience and personal engagement. They are not passive recipients but active participants.  

The opportunities are exciting and challenges significant. They require us to examine and bring freshness to our approach, and our artistic programming will be all the more stimulating for it. At the same time, we need to keep our eye on sustainability and financial success in a highly competitive, more fragmented arts environment. We must also continue to nurture our longstanding and vitally important relationships with Resident Companies and commercial hirers. In addition, the realities of Building Renewal, particularly in relation to the planned 2020 – 2021 Concert Hall closure, must be incorporated into our thinking.

We have developed a detailed set of goals and objectives to address the range of interlocking issues we face, across areas such as programming and experience culture, audiences and community changes, heritage and infrastructure, and collaboration with our partners.  

Consistent with our values of creativity, excellence, collaboration, accountability and safety that daily guide our actions, we aim to set the gold standard for performing arts practice and achievement in Sydney and beyond.

Kate Dundas
Executive Director, Performing Arts