If you’re looking to find interesting independent performers in Sydney without having to seek out small theatres and performance spaces, Sydney Opera House’s Festival Unwrapped might be just the ticket.
Launched last year, the biannual festival was developed to introduce audiences to independent artists who usually perform in smaller, less mainstream spaces. This time round the festival features a mini line-up of five works, as well as artist talks, participatory artwork and a pop-up bar.
All the works in the festival have successfully premiered elsewhere – often for a very short season – at places such as Performance Space, Arts House Melbourne, Belvoir, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Powerhouse Youth Theatre Fairfield.
A variety of performers have been selected for the first festival of 2019, which will be held in May.
Australian opera singer Ali McGregor will bring to life the music and story of 1950s Peruvian soprano Yma Sumac, who was known for her incredible vocal range and claimed to be descended from Incan royalty.
In My Urrwai, dancer, comic, teacher and guitarist Ghenoa Gela will delve into her experiences as a Torres Strait mainlander.
William Yang's Party (verb) celebrates Sydney’s queer communities by tracing the development of its queer underground party scene.
The festival will also include the Sydney premiere of The Director, in which ex-funeral director Scott Turnbull and actor/creator Lara Thomas get into the nitty-gritty of the “death industry”.
The ensemble performance Playlist, meanwhile, delves into the state of feminism via pop culture and music. It explores the lives and perspectives of five young women from western Sydney through a combination of spoken word, street dance and pop songs.
The festival will also give arts-lovers the chance to get a glimpse at the creative process, with Gela, Yang, May Tran (Playlist) and Thoms all speaking about how their lives inform their creative work.
Festival Unwrapped runs from May 3 to 19. Tickets are now on sale.