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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

The Sydney Opera House Has Announced a Big Reopening Lineup Filled with Live Gigs and Festivals

It includes the return of ideas festival Antidote, everything from live jazz to comedy, and music performances over dinner at Bennelong.
By Sarah Ward
October 14, 2020
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The Sydney Opera House Has Announced a Big Reopening Lineup Filled with Live Gigs and Festivals

It includes the return of ideas festival Antidote, everything from live jazz to comedy, and music performances over dinner at Bennelong.
By Sarah Ward
October 14, 2020
  shares

When venues around the world starting shutting down to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the Sydney Opera House was one of them, closing its doors to shows and audiences back in mid-March. By the end of October, however, it'll slowly start kicking back into gear – with the iconic site revealing its reopening program.

While the cultural institution hasn't been quiet over the past seven months thanks to a massive lineup of free digital concerts and talks that everyone has been able to watch at home, it will begin welcoming patrons back in the door in line with easing New South Wales restrictions. It isn't abandoning its online activities, but they'll run in tandem with its physical events. At a festival such as Antidote, for instance, you'll be able to head along in-person or watch digitally.

The Opera House's festival of ideas, action and change, Antidote will return for its fourth year on Sunday, November 29, running as a one-day event that features talks, workshops, visual art, installations and other immersive experiences. Hosting speakers in the Joan Sutherland Theatre and making its program available online, it'll include sessions on everything from the state of America in 2020 to eschewing cynicism in favour of optimism — and workshops focused on growing edible balcony gardens, too. And as for the guest lineup, it spans Indigenous-led design advocate Jefa Greenaway, climate change social researcher Rebecca Huntley, and Kiley Reid, the Man Booker-shortlisted author of Such a Fun Age — among others.

Jefa Greenaway, by Peter Casamento

Antidote is just one of the events on the Opera House's new program. If you're eager for a few laughs, comedian Tom Gleeson will hit the venue's stage in December with his latest show, called Lighten Up — and if you'd prefer live tunes, you can choose between a tribute concert to Australian jazz icon Don Burrows and the sounds of improvisational trio Vazesh. In the theatre realm, Sydney Theatre Company's Rules for Living will tread the boards, while kids will be able to watch Diary of a Wombat come to life as a puppet show.

Although dance is part of the lineup thanks to the return of Dance Rites for 2020, it's running solely as a digital event, so prepare to check out the annual First Nations dance competition at home.

You'll definitely need to leave the house, though, if you're keen to tuck into dinner while listening to musicians from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Australian Chamber Orchestra. That's on offer at Bennelong for the first time, pairing a meal with a live performance between Thursday, October 29–Sunday, December 20.

The Opera House will also be resuming its tours from Thursday, November 5, and Portside will reopen for dining from Monday, November 2.

The Sydney Opera House's reopening program kicks off on Thursday, October 29. For further information or to buy tickets, visit the venue's website.

Top image: Brett Stevens

Published on October 14, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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