Sydney Opera House unveils latest UnWrappedline-up platforming independent voices and contemporary Australian work
Sydney – Tuesday 23 August, 2022. The Sydney Opera House today unveiled five works created by diverse and multi-disciplinary artists responding to our fast-changing world, as part of the latest installment of its bi-annual season of UnWrapped.
During October and November, UnWrapped will present the world premiere of award-winning writer Michael Mohammed Ahmad’s The Demon; new work by esteemed composer and musician William Barton; an opulent film work by critically-acclaimed choreographer and dancer Angela Goh; the Sydney premiere of Takat?pui by antidisciplinary artist Daley Rangi; and multi-award winning writer and performer Stace Callaghan’s Queer as Flux.
Sydney Opera House Director of Programming and UnWrapped Curator, Fiona Winning said: “We’re thrilled to present these beautifully crafted and compelling works, including three Opera House New Work Now commissions, from some of Australia’s most boundary-pushing artists.
“From magic realism to dark humour and direct audience address, The Demon, Takat?pui and Queer as Flux present contemporary perspectives on difference, belonging and xenophobia. Alongside William Barton’s and Angela Goh’s new works, the program harnesses the power of words, physicality, music and the imagination to interpret past experiences and imagine future possibilities.”
The UnWrapped series for October – November will feature:
• The Demon
Playhouse | Thursday 13, Friday 14 and Saturday 15 October, 2022
The Demon is a Lynchian physical theatre work that reimagines a dark story in the history of White Australia. Drawing on the Chinese, Arab, Anglo-Celtic settler, and Indigenous backgrounds of the creative team, it weaves a surrealist tale for the demons of history that continue to walk amongst us. The action-packed thriller performed by a cast of highly-skilled actors and dancers, explores the bond of two detectives who grew up as brother-boys in Bankstown – Arab Australian Jihad (Johnny Nasser) and his Aboriginal Muslim partner Matthew/Muhammad (Kirk Page). Co-created by award-winning writer Michael Mohammed Ahmad, intercultural theatre director Rachael Swain and choreographer of filmic and surrealist dance theatre Gavin Webber. Co-commissioned by OzAsia Festival and the Sydney Opera House and enabled for the Opera House by New Work Now founding supporter Prof Ross Steele AM.
Studio | Thursday 17, Friday 18, Saturday 19 November, 2022
Armed with only a microphone, a vocal processor, and a killer pair of heels, antidisciplinary M?ori artist Daley Rangi examines bodily integrity and the complexities of resistance and resilience in an experience that invokes both queer joy and hot rage. Takat?pui shines a light on the shadowy events of one fateful night, conjured by a combination of lyricism, cavernous soundscapes, disco outbreaks, and macabre humour. Takat?pui premieres in Sydney after a critically-acclaimed debut at The Blue Room Theatre in Perth earlier this year.
• Angela Goh’s The Concert
Utzon Room | Thursday 17, Friday 18 and Saturday 19 November, 2022
Sydney-based artist and choreographer Angela Goh’s film The Concert reimagines the original acoustic reflectors that hung in the Concert Hall from 1973 until 2020. Made following a residency at the Sydney Opera House in 2021, Goh has assembled an exceptional creative team and an extensive cast to render one of the world’s most recognisable buildings as otherworldly terrain. The Concert will be screened in the Utzon Room for three days, free for the public to attend. Event registration is required; a link will be available closer to the date. Commissioned and presented by Sydney Opera House as part of New Work Now, enabled by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects.
• Queer as Flux
Studio | Thursday 24, Friday 25 and Saturday 26 November, 2022
Fresh from critically-acclaimed seasons at Brisbane Powerhouse and The Blue Room Theatre, Queer as Flux is an intimate, uplifting performance by multi-award-winning artists: writer/performer Stace Callaghan and director Leah Mercer. The work celebrates transitions of bodies, hearts and minds through the eyes of a grown-up tomboy, their Drag Queen Fairy Godmother and two wise whales. Callaghan is the recent recipient of Outstanding Achievement at the Performing Arts WA Awards for their performance in Queer as Flux.
• William Barton Finding Our Voice
Studio | Sunday 27 November, 2022
William Barton is one of Australia’s most revered artists; a prolific creator and collaborator, and celebrated didgeridoo player. This one-time event will feature Barton alongside his hand-picked ensemble of exceptional classical and jazz-fusion luminaries including Simon Barker (drums/percussion) and Scott Tinkler (trumpet) and includes the premiere of a new work commissioned by the Sydney Opera House as part of New Work Now enabled by The Wolanski Foundation. Barton’s powerful collection of compositions evoke the rich complexities of the Australian landscape and experience. This same distinct voice has led Barton to collaborate on the Finding Our Voice initiative – a nationwide program curated by Genevieve Lacey that connects vital musical voices and illuminates their incredible stories in one, connected long-form festival.