A summer of escape, entertainment and connection at the Sydney Opera House

AAR-SOH-RENTLegendary rock musical RENT – with its galvanising story of love and connection – kicks off a vibrant Sydney Opera House summer program full of magic, illusion, music theatre and circus.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Jonathan Larson’s multiple Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning sensation RENT will play the Drama Theatre from 27 December 2020 to 31 January 2021. This brand new Australian production features a group of artists, outcasts and misfits who seize the moment in the face of adversity to find connection in a world of isolation through songs of revolution.

Starring Seann Miley Moore (UK X Factor) and Callum Francis (Kinky Boots), and featuring all the hits from the award-winning score including La Vie Bohème, Take Me or Leave Me, RENT and Seasons of Love – this Broadway hit and its iconic chant of “no day but today” is a musical for the moment.

Step into a secret magic den with James Galea’s BEST TRICK EVER when Australia’s most astounding magicians hit the Opera House Studio (2 January – 14 February 2021) to showcase their best trick ever.

Commisioned as part of the Opera House initiative New Work NowJames Galea’s BEST TRICK EVER is hosted by award-winning Australian magician, writer and producer James Galea (Band of Magicians, POOF! Secrets of A Magician).

The show is a reimagined live experience of Best Trick Ever – an ABC TV series where James surprises audiences while searching for some of the world’s greatest magic tricks. This jaw-dropping line-up of magicians has never before been seen on the same stage.

  • Raymond Crowe – global YouTube sensation, Unusualist and shadow puppet expert, as seen on The World’s Greatest Magic and Australia’s Got Talent;
  • Helen Coghlan – Australia’s top escapologist and the only magician ever to fool Penn & Teller three times on their hit show FOOL US;
  • Dom Chambers – the only Australian semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent, famous for his cheeky signature beer act and;
  • Vincent Kuo – up-and-coming star of magic and master of the Rubik’s cube, who recently returned from Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques, commonly known as the Magic Olympics.

In February, internationally acclaimed Australian circus company Circa will transform the Drama Theatre into a dazzling world of thrilling acrobatics with Circa’s Peepshow (2 – 14 February 2021). Under the direction of contemporary circus visionary Yaron Lifschitz, Circa’s Peepshow combines virtuosic acrobatics and comic burlesque to create an exhilarating, playful and seductive experience that celebrates the strength and beauty of the human body.

The feel-good sing-along hit, The Choir of Man, will return to the Studio (18 February – 4 April) following sold out seasons in 2019. This musical adventure of heart and energy is set in a cosy British pub called “The Jungle” and combines incredible vocals with high energy dance, live percussion and foot stomping choreography.

The Opera House’s Contemporary Performance program brings the best of musicals (In The Heights, SIX: The Musical), cabaret (Blanc De Blanc: Encore), magic and illusion (The Illusionists: Direct From Broadway), and circus (Cirque Stratosphere) to Sydney every summer.

Ahead of her departure to take on the role of Festival Director, Sydney Festival, outgoing Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Performance Olivia Ansell wants audiences to experience love, laughter, trickery and spectacle on Bennelong Point this summer.

“Grab your friends and wave in the new year with the ultimate Sydney-in-summer experience. I’m absolutely thrilled to leave audiences with one of our most jam-packed summers yet,” she said.

“The heart of RENT, the magic of James Galea, the physical prowess of Circa’s Peepshow and the rollicking good times of The Choir of Man is a program for now, offering escapism, pure entertainment, and connection. It’s a delight to be welcoming artists and audiences back for yet another blockbuster summer,” said Ansell.

As a registered COVID Safe business, the Opera House is implementing a number of onsite measures, in line with NSW Health guidelines, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of artists, audiences, visitors and staff. For more information, visit: www.sydneyoperahouse.com for details.

Image: RENT – courtesy of Sydney Opera House