Curator’s note – Vivid Live 2016
It's an honour to present the 2016 Vivid Live festival, the second I've had the privilege of putting together.
The festival celebrates ambition and excellence in contemporary music - marrying artists interested in stretching the concept of performance with a building that symbolises the liberating power of art. Absorbing a piece of art is to see the world through another's eyes and to try on for size, to a greater or lesser extent, another world.
These notions of fluidity and transformation are embodied in Vivid Live through Anohni's journey from Antony and the Johnsons' torch songs to her current raging, radiant and subversively pop electronic incarnation. New Order reimagined themselves from the ashes of Joy Division and now transform their performance again with their first ever orchestral performances, choosing to partner with our own highly esteemed resident company the ACO.
Esperanza Spalding's new album is an entire mediation on shifting identities and selves and Max Richter's 8 hour, overnight performances of his Sleep opus bends and plays with the very idea of what a concert is.
It's a unique time to take in the Opera House, when it's being taken over by contemporary music like Bon Iver's world-premiere, audience-in-the-round 'Cercle' residency, the Deep Purple Pool Hall, free artist talks and exhibitions and the brilliant madness of Dress Up Attack!'s kids' music festival with Holly Throsby, Sally Seltmann and more.
I'm also very proud my colleague Rhoda Roberts, Sydney Opera House's Head of Indigenous Programming, is curating Lighting the Sails this year - choosing work from 6 compelling and remarkable indigenous artists to be animated and transformed by Sydney’s talented production house Artists In Motion.
I hope you enjoy the city and the Opera House at this unique time of year – have fun trying on for size the musical worlds brought here.
Head of Contemporary Music, Sydney Opera House