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Sydney Opera House Presents Vivid Live 2019 24 May – 15 June

March 20, 2019 Whats On No Comments Email Email

The Sydney Opera House today revealed the Vivid LIVE 2019full program. Taking place from 24 May – 15 June, Vivid LIVE transforms the nation’s most famous stages with a celebration of originality, innovation and excellence in contemporary music and culture as part of Vivid Sydney, the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere.

Now entering its second decade, Vivid LIVE focuses on artists who work at the cutting edge of their genre – from jazz and electronic to hip hop and classical – and visionaries who create on their own terms. Featuring special projects, exclusive collaborations, world-firsts and one-off performances, the Vivid LIVE 2019 line-up includes rare appearances from acts currently on hiatus and co-commissions with world-class arts and cultural institutions. Curated for the fifth time by Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Music, Ben Marshall, this year’s event features 11 exclusive performances on every Opera House stage, including the return of the Northern Broadwalk, surrounded by spectacular harbour views, Drama Theatre and Playhouse as venues.

Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Music and Curator of Vivid LIVE, Ben Marshall, says: “This year’s Vivid LIVE has been a genuine pleasure to program – from The Cure to Kelsey Lu, from Sharon Van Etten to Briggs, it’s a selection of ambitious outsider artists who’ve spectacularly succeeded on their own rigorous terms. It’s also a celebration of the cultural landscape’s blurring of genres, subcultures and artistic practices, beautifully exemplified here by Lonnie Holley, Wu Tsang and our commission of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s final multimedia masterpiece Last and First Men.

We look forward to welcoming people from across Australia and overseas to these unmissable special projects and exciting rare appearances within a building symbolising artistic excellence, inspiration and the liberating power of art.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer and Vivid Sydney Executive ProducerSandra Chipchase, says: “In its eleventh year Vivid Sydney continues to evolve, surprise and delight and the 2019 Vivid LIVE program reflects that. In 2018 Vivid Sydney welcomed 2.25 million attendees and delivered over $172 million in tourism spend to the NSW economy, and there’s no doubt that the iconic Sydney Opera House was a highlight destination for many of those guests. As the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere, the much-loved Vivid LIVE within the Vivid Music program will impress again in 2019.”

CONCERT HALL

The Cure Disintegration 30th Anniversary – Friday 24, Saturday 25, Monday 27 & Tuesday 28 May
Legendary British alt-rock group The Cure will perform landmark album Disintegration in full on its 30th anniversary in a world premiere and Australian exclusive. Robert Smith and the full band will perform the exquisitely melancholic and undeniably influential album alongside moving tracks from their extensive discography.

Dirty Three – Sunday 26 May
Australian cult instrumentalists Dirty Three will present a world-first performance of their classic 1994 self-titled debut album played in full. Armed with fiercely original arrangements, Warren EllisMick Turner and Jim White will make their first appearance together since announcing their hiatus in 2016 when they celebrate the 25th anniversary of the album’s release at Vivid LIVE.

Maggie Rogers – Wednesday 29 May
Rising synth-pop singer-songwriter and producer Maggie Rogers will perform her powerful debut album, Heard It in a Past Life, with full band for her anticipated Opera House debut. Rogers fuses dance beats with folk-inspired imagery and harmony, and famously wowed superstar producer Pharrell Williams with her viral smash hit “Alaska”.

Underworld – Friday 31 May, Saturday 1, Sunday 2 & Monday 3 June
Following their sold out, Helpmann Award-nominated Opera House shows in 2016, Underworld – aka Karl Hyde and Rick Smith – will return for their Vivid LIVE debut with four Australian exclusive performances in the Concert Hall. The electronic music powerhouses have influenced the world’s dance floors for decades and this June will perform tracks spanning their 25-year-long catalogue accompanied by mesmeric visuals.

Herbie Hancock – Monday 10 June
Chicago’s Grammy Award-winning jazz iconoclast Herbie Hancock will showcase his illustrious six-decade career in a special one-off Sydney show. Once a key member of the Miles Davis Quintet, Hancock’s influence on modern acoustic and electronic jazz and R&B is unparalleled and his performance at Vivid LIVE is sure to be unmissable.

Jónsi & Alex Somers: Riceboy Sleeps with the Sydney International Orchestra and Choir – Tuesday 11 June
Sigur Rós vocalist Jónsi and American musician Alex Somers will perform their beautiful ambient collaboration Riceboy Sleeps live in full for the very first time supported by the Sydney International Orchestra and Choir, with orchestral arrangements by David Handler. Tracks from this moving album have not been played live for nearly a decade.

JOAN SUTHERLAND THEATRE

Spunk Records 20th Anniversary feat. The Middle East plus special guests – Friday 24 & Saturday 25 May
Influential indie record label Spunk Records will celebrate their 20th anniversary in the Joan Sutherland Theatre with an Australian exclusive concert. Townsville’s The Middle East – whose 2011 split shocked fans and the music industry alike – will reunite exclusively for a one-off performance at Vivid LIVE. They will re-form for two nights only, alongside Machine Translations performing HappyJack Ladder and Holly Throsby on the Friday and The Ocean Party and Emma Russack on Saturday evening.

Teyana Taylor – Tuesday 28 May
R&B recording artist, actor and dancer Teyana Taylor makes her Opera House debut at Vivid LIVE this year. The Harlem-born singer’s long overdue, Kanye West-produced, sophomore album K.T.S.E.(Keep That Same Energy) (2018) was famously described as “one of the best albums I heard [that] year” by Elton John after it debuted at No.2 on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums charts in 2018.

Briggs’ Bad Apples House Party – Thursday 30 May
Musician, writer, actor and activist Briggs will return to Vivid LIVE in an Australian exclusive and headline debut, joined by friends from his Indigenous hip-hop record label, Bad Apples Music. Briggs’ powerful lyricism and uncompromising sense of justice takes its rightful place on the Joan Sutherland Theatre stage. Label mates and friends Electric FieldsDavid DallasThe Kid LaroiBirdzJesswarNookyKobie DeePhillyRebecca Hatch and jayteehazard will perform alongside him.

Keaton Henson: Six Lethargies with the Opera Australia Orchestra – Friday 31 May
Keaton Henson’s Six Lethargies – co-commissioned by the Opera House and the Barbican – will be performed in full by the Opera Australia Orchestra for one night only, exclusively at the Sydney Opera House. The result of three years’ work, the multisensory Six Lethargies uses cutting edge technology to translate Henson’s experiences with anxiety into a unique audiovisual performance. A short Q&A with Keaton himself will follow.

Sharon Van Etten – Saturday 1 June
Four years after her last Australian performance, Sharon Van Etten will make her Opera House debut for one night only, bringing to life her new synth-driven, experimental pop album Remind Me Tomorrow. Her fifth album comes after Van Etten took a break from music to grow her family, study psychology and perform in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks and mystery drama The OA.

Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Last and First Men with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra – Sunday 2 June
Co-commissioned by the Sydney Opera House, Manchester International Festival and the Barbican, Vivid LIVE presents the Australian premiere of one of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s final works. Last and First Men is a breath-taking multimedia project based on the cult science fiction novel by Olaf Stapledon. The Sydney Symphony Orchestra will perform the spectacular score by the late Jóhann Jóhannsson with conductor Benjamin NortheyYair Glotman (harmonium), vocalists Else Torp(Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds) and Kate Macoboy (Theatre of Voices) and recorded narration by world-renowned actor Tilda Swinton.

NORTHERN BROADWALK

Mad Racket by the Harbour with Larry Heard aka Mr. Fingers (live) and Robert Owens – Friday 24 May
Back by popular demand, one of Sydney’s longest running dance institutions Mad Racket returns to Vivid LIVE with Larry Heard aka Mr. Fingers (live) and Robert Owens headlining their very special outdoor takeover of one of Sydney’s most spectacular outdoor space.

Club Kooky by the Harbour – Saturday 25 May
Sydney’s queer underground institution Club Kooky will return with an appropriately extravagant party on the Northern Broadwalk. Framed by dazzling harbour views, Club Kooky stage a special takeover with a spectacular secret line-up.

UTZON ROOM

Grouper – Friday 24 & Saturday 25 May
In a rare live performance, Oregon-based experimental musician and visual artist Liz Harris, better known as Grouper, makes her Opera House debut with a piano and guitar, tape collage and field recordings, tracks from past records Dragging a Dead DeerRuinsGrid of Points, excerpts from her new project Nivhek and unreleased music. Spanning folk, drone, pop, ambient and atmospheric genres, her music is weighted with emotional honesty and a distinctive melancholic mood – a uniquely compatible fit for these beautiful Utzon Room shows.

The Dirty Three Documentary Screening – Sunday 26 May
Ahead of their Concert Hall performance on the same day, documentary The Dirty Three (2006) will be screened in the Utzon Room. The film traces the history of Dirty Three’s music through interviews with fans and musical collaborators, including Nick CaveCat Power and Steve Albini plus the band members themselves.

Stella Donnelly – Tuesday 28 & Wednesday 29 May
After supporting John Butler Trio & Missy Higgins on the Forecourt earlier this year, Perth’s fearless singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly will bring her captivating vocals to the Opera House’s intimate Utzon Room to perform debut album Beware of the Dogs, full of incisive and witty observations of people and relationships.

Lonnie Holley – Friday 31 May

In a very special appearance, spoken word poet, artist and musician Lonnie Holley will bring his live improvised performance to the Utzon Room with spacey loops, jazzy percussion, and stream-of-consciousness vocals. Best known for his sculptures and carvings – which have been displayed at the White House, the Smithsonian and Birmingham Museum of Art – Holley only recently debuted as a recording artist at the age of 62 with a series of home-made recordings created over many years.

Kelsey Lu – Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 June
Classically-trained cellist, singer and producer Kelsey Lu makes her Opera House debut performing her latest body of work, BLOOD, to be released in April 2019. Lu recorded her debut EP Church (2016) live in a Brooklyn church, and counts Dev Hynes, Lady Gaga and Vivid LIVE alumni Solange and Oneohtrix Point Never as collaborators. An uncompromising artist who offers profound reflections on hope, peace, home and the self – Kelsey Lu is one to watch.

PLAYHOUSE and DRAMA THEATRE

The Spirit of Churaki – Monday 27 May
At the start of National Reconciliation Week and on the anniversary of the 1967 Australian Referendum, Sydney Opera House Head of First Nations programming Rhoda Roberts co-curates an evening of music, multimedia and dance titled The Spirit of Churaki during Vivid LIVE. Starring a line-up of First Nations Australian and International performers under the musical direction of Brian Ritchie (Violent Femmes) and cultural collaborator Kyle Slabb (Banaam), the work honours a rich lineage of saltwater people, a spirit of generosity, a deep connection to country and cultural obligation. This work was originally commissioned by Bleach* Festival in association with Banaam.

The Hidden Pulse 脈動深藏, in collaboration with M+ – Wednesday 29 May – Sunday 2 June
New for Vivid LIVE 2019, Hong Kong’s new museum of visual culture M+ collaborates with the Opera House on a five-day program of artists’ videos and films that uses music and performance as its stimulus. Presented in the Playhouse and Drama Theatre, The Hidden Pulse includes film screenings and conversations with artists Arthur Jafa and Wu Tsang, a spotlight on the work of Charles Atlasand a new film by Cheng Ran with an electronic soundtrack by Shao Yanpeng (aka Dead J)performed live. The program also features free screening sessions and talks and a free video installation in the Drama Theatre by artist Stan Douglas.

STUDIO

Celebrating the best in club culture with an unmissable line up, Vivid LIVE’s infamous Studio Partiesreturn in 2019 in-the-round, with set and lighting design by Sydney local artist Sam Whiteside (Soft Centre). This year’s line-up includes (with more to be announced):

Laurel Halo + 박혜진 park hye jin – Friday 24 May
Berlin-based American electronic composer Laurel Halo co-headlines the Studio Party in an Australian exclusive appearance. Halo is one of the most acclaimed musicians of her genre, frequently ranking among critics’ bests of the year. In her Australian debut, Seoul’s house and techno DJ, singer-songwriter and rapper 박혜진 park hye jin will bring her pulsating synth beats to the Studio for one night only. Exploding into the global mainstream as recently as January 2019, she’ll perform her melodic debut EP ‘IF U WANT IT’.

A Guy Called Gerald – Saturday 25 May
Celebrating three decades producing as A Guy Called Gerald, Britain’s Gerald Simpson makes his Opera House debut playing a full 5.5 hour set in the Studio. The acid house innovator has been at the forefront of UK’s electronic music history for more than 30 years with his solo work shaping the identity of dance music in the 1980s, including iconic track “Voodoo Ray”, and forming celebrated group 808 State.

John Talabot – Friday 31 May
Leading Spanish electronic producer John Talabot, born Oriol Riverola, has been making waves since the critically-acclaimed release of his debut album ƒIN (2012). Having played on the global stages of Primavera and Dekmantel, Talabot will make his Opera House debut with a hypnotic DJ set for the Vivid LIVE Studio Parties.

ANDREW THOMAS HUANG – LIGHTING OF THE SAILS

Chinese-American artist and filmmaker, Andrew Thomas Huang will transform the Sydney Opera House Sails in 2019 with Austral Flora Ballet, accompanied by music from Vivid LIVE artist Kelsey Lu – a lush and visceral projected artwork of dancing digital sculptures inspired by Australia’s native flora. Huang crafts a hypnotic spectacle from such beloved floral gems as the New South Wales waratah, kangaroo paw and the red beard orchid, all of which have an enormous connection for First Nations peoples to their country, story and dance. Integrating the anatomy of these elegant Australian flowers with motion-captured dance performances choreographed in direct response to the architectural form of the Sails, Huang’s work intersects nature and the human body.

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