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A young white woman with dark brown hair stands in front of a fabric background, where projections of clouds are being cast. An audience of meditation children and adults lie on pillows in front of her.

What the Ocean Said Term 4

5 – 7 November 2024

In the Centre for Creativity


James Brown and Collaborators

A Storytelling and meditation performance for students | Early Stages 1 - 3 | Join creativity and wellness for young students, with our 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

A sensory world of vivid storytelling

What the Ocean Said is a relaxing storytelling experience for both students and teachers.

Students are invited to relax amidst a magical space of calm in a sea of pillows. In this meditation and story, students imagine what it would be like to transform into a bird and fly above the harbour, morph into a humpback whale diving deep into the water, and expand into the reaches of the ocean itself. With mindfulness techniques wrapped up in a story time adventure, we’ll introduce younger students to meditation, and offer older students a whole new perspective on mindfulness.

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


Teacher’s resource pack

Our resources are packed with practical, creative activities that will add to your students’ experience. 


Curriculum links

Experience dreamy electronic music and animation, creative writing and mindfulness, understanding of landscape, habitats and non-human life in Science, Geography, English, Drama and Music.


Learning resources

The Opera House’s learning resources provide inspirational activities to watch, listen and read for students in the classroom or learning at home. 

Find learning resources

Watch the trailer

James Brown Director and Writer and Composer

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 Director and Writer

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 MOREFARSCAPE (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 Video Designer

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 Set Designer

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 Waldron Performer

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.

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Ticket and Travel Subsidy

The Sydney Opera House is committed to providing the very best national and international performing arts experiences to NSW students as part of their educational studies.

The Sydney Opera House Arts Assist program provides the full cost of the Creative Learning performance ticket and $5 per student toward travel costs. School applications are assessed according to socioeconomic disadvantage, schools with special needs and individual responses regarding the School Profile and School Community.

The Sydney Opera House thanks and acknowledges our generous Arts Assist donors; The Greatorex Foundation and Sydney Opera House Ladies’ Committee.

Other information

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