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3 September – 22 October 2023

50 films celebrating 50 iconic years

Iconic artists, unforgettable performances, works that changed the way audiences saw the culture: Across its 50 year history, the Sydney Opera House has played host to an incredible diversity of talent, from musicians, choreographers and dancers to actors, playwrights, filmmakers, contemporary artists and visionary thinkers who challenged and shaped the cultural landscape. To mark our first half century, we’re digging deep into the archive to bring audiences 50 rare and often unseen performances over 50 days, and special livestreamed events from our Birthday Festival – free and exclusive to Stream.

Each day we’ll take a peek into the archive to reveal a piece of history, going all the way back to 1973 to the very first opera ever performed on our stage, a spectacular rendition of Prokofiev’s adaptation of War and Peace, going all the way up to the present day.

NSW Government

This program is proudly supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW’s Blockbusters Funding initiative

Watch on demand

Celebrate the Sydney Opera House’s 50th anniversary with 50 consecutive days of rare and unseen recordings from the archive, spanning opera, classical, dance, theatre, contemporary music, documentaries and and livestreams from our Birthday Festival. 

Open House Weekend - Livestream (2023)

Available worldwide from 22 Oct 2023
To celebrate our 50th birthday, we’re throwing open our doors for a free event, live-streamed around the world. Join us as we move explore our famous venues and witness the magic that takes place behind the scenes. (Premiere)


Autopsy on a Dream / The Dream of Perfection (1968 / 2013)

Available worldwide from 21 Oct to 21 Nov 2023
A controversial and provocative 1968 BBC film about the building of Sydney Opera House, and architect Jorn Utzon’s ultimate departure from the project, rediscovered decades after it was presumed to be destroyed. (Stream Premiere)


Sydney Philharmonia Choirs - Inside/Out at the House: The Golden Age of Broadway (2023)

Available Australia only, from 19 Oct to 2 Nov 2023
Sydney Philharmonia Choirs’ dazzling tribute to Broadway will take you back to an era of lush orchestrations and catchy songs that changed the shape of musical theatre for decades to come. (Premiere)


Sydney Dance Company - Boxes (1985)

Available worldwide from 18 Oct to 18 Nov 2023
In collaboration with Iva Davies and the band Icehouse, Graeme Murphy produced a phenomenally successful dance / theatre / rock music extravaganza, in a breathtaking production which quickly filled the Opera Theatre to capacity in November 1985. (Stream Premiere)


UNSW Sydney UTZON Lecture - Livestream (2023)

Available worldwide from 17 Oct 2023
Join Jan and Lin Utzon in conversation – as we journey through the legacy of their father, Jørn Utzon, the visionary architect of the Sydney Opera House, examining the architectural brilliance of the building that has inspired a nation. 


The Australian Ballet - Paquita (2013)

Available worldwide from 16 Oct to 16 Nov 2023
Recorded at Sydney Opera House in 2013, Paquita is a sparkling showcase for The Australian Ballet, showcasing Marius Petipa's choreography, in a performance that is full of spectacular turns, exuberant leaps and delicate footwork.


Opera Australia - Il Trovatore (1983)

Available worldwide from 15 Oct until 15 Nov 2023
This 1983 performance features some of Australia’s all-time greatest: Dame Joan Sutherland stars as Leonora, with Kenneth Collins and Jonathan Summers as the two men who love her. Richard Bonynge conducts with sets by legendary Australian painter Sidney Nolan. (Stream Premiere)


Australian Chamber Orchestra - Inside/Out at the House: Celebrating Icons - From Bach to Barnes (2023)

Available Australia only, from 14 Oct to 28 Oct 2023
The Australian Chamber Orchestra joins our birthday celebrations with music ranging from JS Bach to Jimmy Barnes. Artistic Director Richard Tognetti leads the Orchestra in a showcase of everything that makes the ACO so unique. (Premiere)


Violent Femmes - Live at Sydney Opera House (2014)

Available worldwide from 14 Oct to 14 Nov 2023
30 years since the release of their multimillion-selling eponymous album, the acoustic punk innovators made their Opera House debut in 2014, performing the record in its entirety and transforming the Concert Hall with their inimitable rite-of-passage, alt-rock. (Premiere)

A woman with a crown on, seated.

Bell Shakespeare - Richard 3 (2017)

Available Australia only, from 12 Oct until 12 Nov 2023
Kate Mulvany won a Helpmann Award for her portrayal of one of the most ambitious and gleefully amoral villains ever written in Bell Shakespeare’s acclaimed 2017 production of Richard 3. (Stream Premiere)


Synergy Percussion - Steve Reich, A Celebration (2012)

Available Australia only, from 11 Oct to 11 Nov 2023
In 2012, Sydney Opera House welcomed Steve Reich for a celebratory program, opening with Synergy Percussion performing ‘Drumming (Part I)’, 'Mallet Quartet' and 'Clapping Music', featuring an appearance on stage by the renowned composer. (Premiere)


A Stroke of Genius (1983)

Available worldwide from 10 Oct 2023
Celebrating the 10th birthday of Sydney Opera House in 1983, 'A Stroke of Genius' retells the story of the building through contemporary interviews and archival recordings, including then-unseen colour footage from the 1960s, discovered in the NSW Public Works department. (Stream Premiere)


Steven Oliver - Bigger & Blacker (2021)

Available worldwide from 9 Oct 2023 until 9 Oct 2025
Steven Oliver from ABC’s hit television series 'Black Comedy' is joined on-stage with musician Michael Griffiths for the critically acclaimed comedy cabaret 'Bigger & Blacker', recorded in the Studio in 2021.


Vance Joy - Live at Sydney Opera House (2022)

Available worldwide from 8 to 11 Oct 2023
Internationally-renowned, ARIA-award-winning folk-pop star Vance Joy returned to the Sydney Opera House in November 2022, bringing his intimate, anthemic hits to the Forecourt stage.


Peter Allen - In Concert (1977)

Available Australia only from 7 Oct to 7 Nov 2023
Entertainer extraordinaire Peter Allen performs to a sold-out Opera House crowd in this seminal 1977 concert film, performing songs such as 'I Go To Rio' and the Grammy Award winning 'I Honestly Love You'. (Stream Premiere)


Sydney Symphony Orchestra - Inside/Out at the House: Symphony Spectacular (2023)

Available Australia only from 6 to 20 Oct 2023
For 50 years the Sydney Symphony has been resident at Sydney Opera House. In this 2023 concert, they celebrate some of their most memorable moments in the Concert Hall. (Premiere)


Spinifex Gum (2019)

Available worldwide from 5 Oct to 5 Nov 2023
The voices of young Indigenous women from Gondwana Choirs, singing in English and Yindjibarndi, come together with The Cat Empire’s Felix Riebl and guests Emma Donovan, Peter Garrett and Briggs for a powerful collaboration. (Stream Premiere)


Shaun Parker & Company - AM I (2014)

Available worldwide from 4 Oct to 4 Nov 2023
A collaboration between Shaun Parker and composer Nick Wales, and featuring a cast of 14 musicians, singers and dancers, 'AM I' is an inspired blend of spoken word, razor-sharp choreography and live music. (Stream Premiere)


Ensemble Offspring - Hark the Machine (2018)

Available worldwide from 3 Oct to 3 Nov 2023
In 2018, Ensemble Offspring transformed the Utzon Room with a program featuring work by American composers David Lang and Annie Gosfield, and Australian composers Andrea Keller, Fiona Hill and Thomas Meadowcroft. (Stream Premiere)


Pussy Riot / Zona Prava - In Conversation (2014)

Available worldwide from 2 Oct 2023
Pussy Riot’s feminist, punk protests drew attention to the abuses of Putin’s regime, work which continued through their NGO, Zona Prava. They joined us at the 2014 Festival of Dangerous Ideas to talk about their work. (Stream Premiere)


What Is the City but the People? - Livestream (2023)

Available worldwide from 1 Oct 2023 until 1 Oct 2028
Backed by live music and photographs created by local artists, ‘What Is the City but the People?’ invites Sydneysiders to parade down a large scale catwalk on the Forecourt of Sydney Opera House. (Premiere)


Opera Australia - Lucia di Lammermoor (1986)

Available worldwide from 30 Sep to 30 Oct 2023
Dame Joan Sutherland's performance of Lucia in London in 1959 made her an almost immediate superstar. She returned to her signature role in 1986 in a season in the Concert Hall, directed by John Copley. (Stream Premiere)


The National - Live at Sydney Opera House (2018)

Available worldwide from 29 Sep to 29 Oct 2023
Whilst the 2018 Forecourt performances from the indie rock luminaries were not recorded for broadcast, this new concert film is taken from a range of camera sources, offering a unique and vital record of a much-loved performance. (Premiere)


Australian Chamber Orchestra - Goldberg Variations (2018)

Available worldwide from 28 Sep to 29 Oct 2023
Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra bring Bach’s virtuosic masterpiece to life in the 2018 Australian premiere of Canadian conductor Bernard Labadie’s dazzling, colourful arrangement for strings, filmed in the Concert Hall. (Stream Premiere)


DeRay Mckesson - The Case For Hope (2019)

Available worldwide from 27 Sep 2023
A leader in the Black Lives Matter movement, DeRay Mckesson places the idea of shared hope for a better future at the core of his activism, in this vital conversation with Faustina Agolley, filmed at Antidote 2019.


Khruangbin - Live at Sydney Opera House (2022)

Available worldwide from 26 Sep 2023 until 27 Nov 2026
Inspired by ’60s Thai funk, Tarantino soundtracks and surf-rock cool, the Texan three-piece Khruangbin summoned forth a hypnotic sound quite unlike anything else for their thrilling Sydney Opera House debut in 2022.


A Man and An Organ (1981)

Available Australia and New Zealand only, from 25 Sep 2023
A 1981 insight into Ronald Sharp, the builder of the Grand Organ in the Concert Hall, who worked painstakingly for ten years to build the instrument. With 10,244 pipes, it is the largest mechanical tracker-action pipe organ in the world. (Stream Premiere)


Green Room Music - Three Marys (2023)

Available worldwide from 24 Sep 2023 to 24 Sep 2028
An international collaboration by award-winning artists composer Andrée Greenwell and librettist Christine Evans, this fully staged chamber opera melds music, myth and imagination in an intergenerational story of women who must flee for their lives. (Premiere)

A topless man with long blonde hair singing into a microphone, surrounded by a green-lit lively crowd.

Iggy Pop - Live at Sydney Opera House (2019)

Available worldwide from 23 Sep to 23 Oct 2023.
Hailed as the ‘Godfather of Punk’, The Stooges’ former frontman Iggy Pop made make his long-awaited Sydney Opera House debut in 2019 in the Concert Hall, performing his genre-defining back-catalogue of hits, including songs from seminal albums 'Lust For Life', 'The Idiot' and many more. (Stream Premiere)


Sydney Philharmonia Choirs - Handel: Messiah (Auslan Performance) (2015)

Available worldwide from 22 Sep to 22 Oct 2023.
Brett Weymark conducts the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs in Handel's greatest and most loved choral masterpiece, sung by more than 500 voices and, in a world first, signed in Auslan, live by a choir of eighteen. (Stream Premiere)


The Australian Ballet - Dyad 1929 (2013)

Available worldwide from 21 Sep to 21 Oct 2023
Wayne McGregor’s 'Dyad 1929', made for The Australian Ballet and performed to Steve Reich's 'Double Sextet', tests the limits of classical movement in a laboratory-white set.

Stream Contemporary Music

Sampa The Great - Vivid LIVE (2022)

In an Australian exclusive performance for Vivid LIVE 2022, Sampa Tembo – better known as Sampa The Great – debuted her long-awaited show ‘An Afro Future’, performing the four-time ARIA award-winning debut album ‘The Return’ with her epic band, dancers and singers.


Erth’s Prehistoric World (2022)

Available worldwide from 18 Sep until 16 Apr 2027
Erth's enthralling puppetry-based childrens' show is the perfect combination of theatrical magic and charm, featuring ancient bio-luminescent sea creatures and some of the most amazing dinosaurs to have ever walked this Earth.


Opera Australia - Les Huguenots (1990)

Available worldwide from 17 Sep to 17 Oct 2023
On 2 October 1990, Dame Joan Sutherland, one of the greatest opera singers of all time, bid farewell with this glorious performance of Meyerbeer’s tragic story, joined on stage by a cast of all-star Australian singers. (Stream Premiere)


La Stupenda - A Portrait of Dame Joan Sutherland (1990)

Available Australia and New Zealand only, from 16 Sep 2023
Internationally celebrated opera singer Dame Joan Sutherland takes a nostalgic look back at her life and career. Combining archival material and performance with contributions from Luciano Pavarotti, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and more, this is a delight for opera lovers everywhere. (Stream Premiere)


Yaeji - Vivid LIVE (2023)

Available worldwide from 15 Sep 2023 until 15 Mar 2024
A true global icon of 21st-century club pop, Korean-American artist Yaeji brought fans together in the Joan Sutherland Theatre with an immersive multimedia live show, showcasing her debut album, 'With A Hammer'. (Premiere)


Sydney Dance Company - Dream Lucid (2012)

Available worldwide from 14 Sep to 14 Oct 2023
Commissioned by Sydney Dance Company, 'Dream Lucid' by Melbournian Stephanie Lake uses form, colour and magnetism to explore the flux between chaos and control, and appeared as part of Sydney Opera House’s Spring Dance Festival in 2012. (Stream Premiere)


An Evening with Stephen Hawking (2015)

Available worldwide from 13 Sep 2023
The late physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking visited us via livestream hologram technology for his first-ever Australian public lecture in April 2015. His daughter, Lucy Hawking, and physicist Paul Davies, joined us in the Concert Hall to introduce his work. (Stream Premiere)


Australian World Orchestra - Beethoven Symphony No. 9 ‘Choral’ (2011)

Available worldwide from 12 Sep until 12 Oct 2023
Australian World Orchestra brings Beethoven’s longest symphony to life with unique passion, vivacity and skill in this 2011 Concert Hall performance, featuring Sydney Philharmonia Choir and conducted by Alexander Briger. (Stream Premiere)


Ursula Yovich - From Our House to Yours (2020)

Available worldwide from 11 Sep 2023 until 11 Sep 2024
Singer, songwriter, actor, and playwright Ursula Yovich returned to her first love, singing, for the ‘From Our House to Yours’ season; created in response to lockdown, and featuring live-streamed performances from the Joan Sutherland Theatre stage. (Stream Premiere)


Angela Goh - The Concert (2022)

Available worldwide from 10 Sep until 31 Dec 2023
Reimagining the Concert Hall’s original Acoustic “Doughnuts”, Angela Goh’s film weaves together dance, song, poetry, sound and cinematography, and takes one of the most recognisable buildings on the planet and renders it into otherworldly terrain. (Stream Premiere)

Stream Contemporary Music

José González - Vivid LIVE (2023)

Returning to Australia for Vivid LIVE last year, master singer-songwriter José González celebrated the 20th anniversary of the album that launched him, 2003’s indie folk classic, Veneer

An orchestra on stage, members of the orchestra are standing, the conductor is waving their right arm, smiling.

Sir Simon Rattle conducts the London Symphony Orchestra (2023)

Available worldwide from 8 Sep until 11 Sep 2023
In 1966, the London Symphony Orchestra was the first visiting orchestra to rehearse in the as yet unfinished Sydney Opera House. In 2023, they returned on their final tour with outgoing music director Sir Simon Rattle. (Premiere)

Two groups of six ballerinas on stage, in arabesque, wearing long white tutus and flower crowns.

The Australian Ballet - La Sylphide (2013)

Available worldwide from 7 Sep until 7 Oct 2023
The Australian Ballet presents a production by Erik Bruhn after August Bournonville’s nineteenth-century original, telling the tale of the Scottish dreamer James, who is fascinated by a woodland sprite and spurns his fiancée to follow her. 

An orchestra on stage under blue lighting, a person playing guitar and singing is highlighted.

Gurrumul and Sydney Symphony Orchestra (2014)

Available worldwide from 6 Sep until 6 Oct 2023
Indigenous Australian musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu performs with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by rare footage and photography from his Yolngu upbringing through to his international success, delving deep into his music and spirit. (Stream Premiere)


The Fifth Facade - The Making of the Sydney Opera House (1973)

Available Australia and New Zealand only, from 5 Sep 2023
A rare 1973 film documenting the history of Sydney Opera House. Narrated by Jorn Utzon, the Danish architect behind the building's iconic design, who offers insights into his vision and the problems he needed to solve make it a reality. (Stream Premiere)

Five people in military dress around a table in conversation. One person is talking with animation, while looking at a paper on the table.

Opera Australia - War & Peace (1973)

Available worldwide from 4 Sep until 4 Oct 2023
Prokofiev’s spectacular adaption of War and Peace marked Opera Australia’s first performance in the building, with more than 70 characters listed in this epic production. Directed by legendary American actor Sam Wanamaker and conducted by Ted Downes.  (Stream Premiere)

An orchestra playing on stage in the Concert Hall, as viewed from the back of the hall.

Sydney Opera House Gala Opening Concert with Sydney Symphony Orchestra (1973)

Available worldwide from 3 Sep until 3 Oct 2023
Our opening performance from 1973, captured in colour by the ABC. Sydney Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Sir Charles Mackerras, perform an all-Wagner concert, featuring the Wagnerian soprano Birgit Nilsson. (Stream Premiere)


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