IMAGE BY: BEN SYMONS

Set to engage minds, stir souls and transform the city, Sydney Festival today announces its blockbuster 2020 program – inviting audiences to discover the best of new Australian and international theatre, music, visual art, dance and ideas in corners of the city both known and unknown.

From Barangaroo Reserve and Parramatta to some of the city’s most unique spaces, Sydney Festival’s 2020 line-up sees Festival-goers of all ages exploring the city through a range of over 75 large-scale public events, exhibitions, installations and performances.

An essential fixture of Sydney’s summer calendar, Sydney Festival 2020 takes place over three big weeks from 8–26 January.

As the largest single commissioner of Australian works in the country, Sydney Festival 2020 presents 46 new co-commissioned works, alongside 14 world premiere shows, four Australian premieres and six Australian exclusives, highlighting the Festival’s commitment to taking local talent and creativity to the world stage, while at the same time bringing the best of the world to Sydney.

Unveiling his fourth Festival program in 2020, Sydney Festival Director Wesley Enoch said:

“Sydney Festival brings to our city the newest works from the world’s most adventurous artists. We unearth the interesting, the new and the exciting. Wherever there is a debate to be had, a diversity of opinion or the need to speak the neglected story, Sydney Festival is there. We are proudly diverse. We are equal parts cultural ambition and celebration.”

The festival will take place over three big weeks (8–26 January).

Festival highlights include the return of all-ages festival favourites Opera in the Domain and Sydney Symphony Under the Stars; Reg Livermore’s groundbreaking, gender-flexing Betty Blokk-Buster character returns to wow a new generation in Betty Blokk-Buster Reimagined, starring Josh Quong Tart; multidisciplinary artist Lars Jan and Early Morning Opera will bring essayist Joan Didion’s now-iconic 1979 work The White Album to the stage; and Canadian choreographer Dana Gringas and Animals of Distinction will present their monumental new dance work Frontera.

Elsewhere in the program, French choreographer François Chaignaud and dramatist Nino Laisné present an opera-ballet love letter to centuries of Spanish culture in Romances Inciertos, un Autre Orlando; French stage and screen superstar Isabelle Adjani gives a searing portrayal of a performer on the brink in a radical restaging of John Cassavetes’ cult classic Opening Night; while Festival-goers are once again invited to gather fireside and participate in a smoking ceremony, and reflect on the resilience and beauty of Australia’s Indigenous heritage at special Festival events, The Vigil and Procession.

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