The Performing Arts 

While in Sydney, why not explore a live performance?  Sydney has world class companies for theatre, music, opera and dance.  Here are some links to help you find who's who. No doubt there's some that should be listed that aren't... if you know of one or two or fifty that have been missed - go ahead and add them to the list!

Sydney Opera House - hosts a broad range of performance. So if you really just want to attend something at the Opera House search their  website.

Other performance spaces include:

Seymour Centre on the corner of City Road and Cleveland Street, Chippendale easily accessible by bus, hosts an eclectic range of performances

Carriageworks - housed in the old Eveleigh Rail Yards at Wilson Street, located within the emerging Redfern Waterloo precinct.

Sydney Theatre Company  has performances at Sydney Theatre, Wharf 1 and 2 in Walsh Bay (just around from the Rocks) and some at the Opera House. One of the current Artistic Directors is Cate Blanchett.. From their website:

Sydney Theatre Company has been a major force in Australian drama since its establishment in 1978. The company presents an annual twelve-play program at its home base The Wharf, on Sydney's Harbour at Walsh Bay, and the nearby Sydney Theatre, which STC also manages, and as the resident theatre company of the Sydney Opera House. Current Artistic Directors, Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton joined the Company at the beginning of 2008.

The Belvoir St Theatre company performs at its home, the historic Belvoir St Theatre located in Surry Hills, Sydney. You can walk from Central train station or catch a bus or taxi. From the website:

Under new Artistic Director Ralph Myers, the company continues to perform at its home at Belvoir St Theatre in Surry Hills, Sydney, and from there tours to major arts centres and festivals both nationally and internationally. Belvoir engages Australia’s most prominent and promising playwrights, directors, actors and designers to present an annual artistic program that is razor-sharp, popular and challenging.  

Ensemble Theatre  is located in Kirribilli, which is a pleasant ferry ride or water taxi from Circular Quay. From their website:

The Ensemble Theatre aims to produce live theatre of the highest quality that entertains, educates, enlightens and challenges. The Ensemble believes that theatre can, and should be, a civilizing influence in society.

Griffin Theatre Company  is located in Craigend Street, Kings Cross,  which is a 5 minutes walk from Kings Cross train Station.  From their website:

For three decades, from its diamond stage in Kings Cross, Australia's leading new writing theatre has been a small but spirited engine room, consistently breaking new ground to create theatre experiences that are innovative, thrilling, provocative and transformational.

The Bell Shakespeare Company - In Sydney they perform in a few places including the Opera House.

  • Founded on the ideals of uninhibited access to the great classics for as many Australians as possible, Bell Shakespeare presents its broad range of touring productions and education activities regardless of geographic location
  • As Australia's national touring theatre company, Bell Shakespeare tours every state and territory with creativity and audacity.


    Sydney Symphony Orchestra performances mainly at the Opera House or in the Recital Hall at Angel Place just near Wynyard train station of George St..  From their website:

    The internationally-acclaimed Sydney Symphony, resident at the iconic Sydney Opera House, performs more than 180 concerts a year with some of the world's most illustrious conductors and soloists. One of Australia's leading cultural ambassadors, the Sydney Symphony is proud of its heritage and cultural diversity, reflecting the vibrancy and uniqueness of this wonderful city.

    Australian Brandenburg Orchestra - most performances seem to be at the Recital Hall in Angel Place, just off George St near Wynyard train station. From their website:

    The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra is Australia's finest period instrument orchestra, made up of leading specialists in the performance of baroque and classical music. The Orchestra is committed to energetic and lively programming, combining popular baroque and classical favourites with première Australian performances of seldom heard masterpieces.

    The musicians play from original edition scores and on instruments of the period. These have been restored or faithfully reproduced to recreate an eighteenth century orchestral sound and differ significantly from their modern equivalents - softer and more articulated with an often raw and earthy timbre.

    The Orchestra's name pays tribute to the Brandenburg Concertos of JS Bach, whose musical genius was central to the baroque and classical periods.

    Australian Chamber Orchestra Sydney performances at both the Sydney Opera House and Recital Hall in Angel Place.  From their website:

    The Australian Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1975 in Sydney. Every year, this ensemble presents performances of the highest standard to audiences around the world, including 10,000 subscribers across Australia. The ACO’s unique artistic style encompasses not only the masterworks of the classical repertoire, but innovative cross-artform projects and a vigorous commissioning program.


    Opera Australia

    In 1956 the curtain went up on a plucky young company determined to take opera to all corners of Australia. After many miles, hundreds of costume changes and thousands of notes Opera Australia is still as committed to presenting great opera for everyone.   We are proud to be Australia's national opera company.


    There is a website that give more comprehsive information about dance companies in Australia.  See Australia Dancing.  But for starters:

    The Australian Ballet  Performs at the Sydney Opera House. From their website:

    One of the busiest ballet companies in the world, The Australian Ballet annually presents approximately 200 performances in cities and regional areas around Australia, in addition to regular international touring.

    Sydney Dance Company  Upcoming performances in Sydney at time of writing are at the Sydney Theatre in Walsh Bay, just around from the Rocks. From their website:

    Sydney Dance Company is Australia's premier contemporary dance company and one  of the country's most original and vibrant arts organisations.

    Bangarra Dance Theatre See the website for performance details and locations.

    Bangarra Dance Theatre is one of the youngest and the oldest of Australia's dance companies.  Its living traditions go back at least 40,000 years with the indigenous people of Australia, yet is also reflects the lives and attitudes of indigenous people today.

    The company blends traditional Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander history and culture with international contemporary dance influcences to create a truly Australian Dance Language.