Arts and culture you can’t afford to miss this Summer in Sydney

SF2019 Beware of Pity - photo by Gianmarco BresadolaSydney shines when it comes to outstanding exhibitions, festivals and premiere musicals and opera. With a jam-packed calendar of inspiring, upcoming events, there’s no better time to visit the Harbour City for a culture-infused holiday. To help plan an exciting trip to Sydney full of arts and culture, Australian Arts Review has curated a list of upcoming highlights:

The Book of Mormon – playing until 8 February 2019
It’s blasphemous, politically incorrect, scandalous and shocking and one of the most successful musicals of all time. The smash hit musical written by Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Robert Lopez, The Book of Mormon has broken records and has been bestowed with awards everywhere it has played. Now is your final chance to see it in Sydney before it heads to Brisbane and Adelaide in 2019.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – from 5 January 2018
Willy Wonka is opening his marvellous and mysterious chocolate factory to a lucky few. That includes Charlie Bucket, whose bland life is about to sweeten with colour and confection beyond his wildest dreams. He and four other golden ticket winners will embark on a mesmerising joyride through a world of pure imagination. Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a delectable treat featuring songs from the original film including: Pure Imagination, The Candy Man and I’ve Got a Golden Ticket – alongside a brand new, toe-tapping Broadway score. Now’s your chance to experience the wonders of Wonka! Get ready for the Oompa-Loompas, incredible inventions, costumes and sets and more, more, more at this everlasting showstopper at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre.

David Goldblatt: Photographs 1948–2018 – on display until 3 March 2019
Considered one of the greatest photographers of our time, David Goldblatt is regarded for his compelling observations of South Africa during the rise and dismantling of apartheid. By turning his focus on the nation’s people, his images offer powerful reflection and insight into the country’s turbulent history. A landmark exhibition for the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), this is the first major retrospective of David Goldblatt’s work in the southern hemisphere and encompasses the breadth and scope of his career. The exhibition will feature key black-and-white and colour photographic series, as well as early vintage prints and never-before-seen material from his personal archive.

Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones – continues to 3 February 2019
Exclusive to Sydney, Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones tells the story of the most influential rock ‘n’ roll band in the world, allowing visitors to experience their incredible journey from their early days living together in a tiny flat to headlining the biggest stages in the world. With the full participation of Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie – this highly immersive and interactive exhibition includes over 500 rare items from the band’s private archive covering fashion, film, recording, and art and design. From their most cherished instruments, onstage and offstage clothes, valuable works of art and handwritten lyric books to personal diaries, recordings, unseen film and photos, a screening cinema and interactive recording studio, Exhibitionism culminates in an exciting and powerful backstage-to-onstage 3D concert experience.

Akira Isogawa – from 15 December 2018
Known for his fusion of Asian tradition with Australian ease, Akira Isogawa is one of our country’s most loved and celebrated designers. This exhibition is the first to explore his career of more than 25 years, revealing the background, impulses and cultural influences that have contributed to the making of a fashion original. On display at the Powerhouse Museum, Akira Isogawa features a wide range of garments and outfits, mostly drawn from Isogawa’s extensive archive – a selection of which he has generously donated to the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.

Masters of modern art from the Hermitage – on display until 3 March 2019
This summer, see groundbreaking works from the towering figures of modern art, including Monet, Picasso, Cézanne, Matisse, Gauguin and Kandinsky. Drawn from the unparalleled collections of the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, this major exhibition, on display exclusively at the Art Gallery of NSW, captures the ebullience, innovation and confidence of the European modern masters at a defining moment in art history.

Nick Cave: Until – on display until 3 March 2019
Until is American artist Nick Cave’s most ambitious project to date. Comprised of thousands of found objects which together make us feel as if we have entered a rich sensory tapestry. A play on the phrase ‘innocent until proven guilty’ or in this case ‘guilty until proven innocent’ Cave addresses issues of gun violence, gun control policy, race relations, and gender politics in America and its resonance across the world. The centrepiece is Crystal Cloudscape – a 12 metre long and six-metre wide sculpture, weighing over five tonnes, and suspended within the Carriageworks public space – where an uncanny bricolage of objects that reference an American vernacular past and present populate a landscape simultaneously alluring as it is menacing.

Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition – continues to 10 June 2019
Who would you be if you were a character from Star Wars? Find out as you build your own personal and unique Star Wars hero in this interactive exhibition featuring 200 original Star Wars objects. Designed for visitors of all ages, explore your own identity and learn about the forces that shape you through a series of interactive stations within the exhibition. Each answer you give will define a unique Star Wars character that you’ll create and meet at the end of the exhibition. Along the way, discover rare treasures from the Lucasfilm archives and see original costumes, props, models and artworks up close as you go behind the scenes of the movie-making process.

Sydney Festival – 9 to 27 January 2019
A highlight of Sydney’s Summer calendar, Sydney Festival presents the biggest and best of the world’s performing and visual artists. From the Central Business District to Parramatta, Sydney Festival brings unique spaces to life with performances including the Festival Village in Hyde Park, Sydney Town Hall and The Domain, and takes over Sydney’s best venues including Carriageworks, Riverside Theatres and the Sydney Opera House.

Turandot – 15 January to 30 March 2019
Puccini’s famous opera about a brutal princess and an impossibly brave suitor, who will make any sacrifice to win her love. This classic production at the Sydney Opera House features exciting choreography and the most famous opera song of all time – Nessun dorma. Princess Turandot has sworn that no man shall marry her unless he can correctly answer three riddles. If he fails, we will die. Prince Calaf, captivated by Turandot’s beauty, takes up the challenge, determined to win her heart or die in the attempt. Turandot is a fantasy opera of poetry and myth, set in an exotic world where fear and love go hand in hand and death is always just around the corner.

For more information on these events and more, visit: for details. Australian Arts Review travelled recently to Sydney as a guest of Destination NSW.

Image: Beware of Pity to enthrall the 2019 Sydney Festival – photo by Gianmarco Bresadola