Wherever you are bringing in the New Year in our glorious Greater Sydney this 31 December, here are our top 23 Sydney Scoop guide picks for 2023 once the new year is here. Just days away now, so be excited Sydney!
Love Your Nature explores the fascinating world of plant love in this new immersive horticulture exhibition at The Calyx, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney with over 20,000 colourful plants on display to celebrate plant diversity. From seductive scents to masterful mimicry, this new exhibition invites you to explore a kaleidoscope of colour, plants, and passion, as well as one of the largest green walls in the southern hemisphere. From stunning sex-changing cycads, awesome a-sexual algae, and ostentatious orchids that trick their pollinators, things will be getting steamy this summer! From New Years Day until 11 February 2023.
Sydney Festival returns this January to give the city its sizzle with an exhilarating line-up of vibrant ideas, irrepressible creativity, remarkable talent and pure summertime revelry across 25 days from 5-29 January 2023. 18 World Premieres and 14 Australian Exclusives from across a full program of over 100 unique events – 26 of which will be free – featuring 748 performances traversing 54 venues.
Sydney Opera House has turned 50 so 2023 will be chocka block filled with celebrations of the arts at the iconic Sydney arts venue as part of the year long birthday celebrations. Yeup, 50 - it's a big one!
Inside/Out at the House presented under the sails or the stars for this extraordinary 7-day festival 1 – 7 May 2023. Celebrating 50 years of the Sydney Opera House, Inside/Out at the House features world-class performances from London Symphony Orchestra, The Australian Ballet, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Each evening from 1 - 7 May a special performance will take place inside the heart of the Opera House in the Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre while simultaneously broadcast live to audiences outside on the Forecourt, where all tickets are just $10.
With three unique works of scale and fine artistry, Sydney Dance Company presents Ascent 16 - 23 March at the Sydney Opera House as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations!
FLiCKERFEST Short Film Festival returns to Bondi January 2023! This ten day event 20 – 29 January will showcase a handpicked selection of Australia’s and the world's most exciting short films, returning to its old home the stylishly revamped Bondi Pavilion, presenting a not to be missed season showcasing our most exciting emerging talent.
Alongside the best of short films from Australia and the world in competition audiences will also be delighted with a celebration of youth filmmaking from across Australia (SAE FlickerUp) amazing LBTQI films in competition at home and across the world (Rainbow Shorts) and special showcases of kids and family friendly films (FlickerKids), films about relationships (Love Bites), and hilarious comedy films (Short Laughs).
ELEVATE Sydney 2023 is going big. On top of the sold out music lineup, there will also be a drone SkyShow featuring more than 600 drones and what will be the WORLDS LONGEST BAR during the festival period, adding even more excitement to the festivities on the Cahill Expressway from 3 - 7 January 2023. The 600 Drone SkyShow is on every night of the festival to the theme of exploring place. The SkyShow will take viewers on an underwater journey of Sydney Harbour with stunning drone formations that will light up the sky in a choreographed performance.
ELEVATE will also open The World’s and Australia’s Longest Bar, which will stretch 127 metres along the Cahill Expressway. It will be open 4-7 January 2023 during ELEVATE Social afternoons and ELEVATE Nights, The Long Bar will welcome 200 guests at each session, and guests will be able to drink in the views of Sydney Harbour from this unique vantage point while also enjoying a glass of NSW wine or beer, and the very best of NSW cheese and charcuterie.
The first exhibition of the year at gallery STATION Gallery is Shireen Taweel, Sacred architecture and the celestial body 21 January – 11 February 2023 Potts Point which investigates the cultural significance of celestial navigation and astronomy, merging speculative astral architecture with historic celestial technologies. The exhibition has been informed by three months of research, development and drawing while on residency at the Sydney Observatory, where Taweel engaged with the Powerhouse Museum's instruments of celestial navigation and astronomy.
Taweel, an artist working on Gadigal Land, is best known for her intricately hand pierced and engraved sculptures, crafted from sheets of copper, which fuse conceptual and contemporary practice with an innovative application of traditional artisan coppersmith techniques.
Joining current discourse on the cultural, political, and spiritual considerations for future migration into Space, Taweel questions how celestial migration of the future will negotiate the construction and representation of the sacred, to satisfy the desire for a diversity of cultural landscapes and infrastructure in places newly inhabited by the celestial body.
Pictured Shireen Taweel
As Sydney welcomes WorldPride in February, NAS is proud to present Queer Contemporary from 3 February to 18 March 2023, the cornerstone visual arts program for WorldPride and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Join them for the exhibitions Braving Time: Contemporary Art in Queer Australia, Fulgora and Luke Thurgate: Adore you, as well as a suite of public activities, key community partnerships and site activations. Dance at the opening night Block Party, revisit the ground-breaking Ward 17 South with Qtopia, or make your own anti-Valentines card with artist EJ Son.
Braving Time in the NAS Gallery features the work of 31 artists: Tony Albert, Brook Andrew, Liam Benson, Vivienne Binns, Leigh Bowery, Gary Carsley, Michelle Collocott, Peter Cooley, Christine Dean, Karla Dickens, Todd Fuller, Amos Gebhardt, Tina Havelock Stevens, Brenton Heath-Kerr, Kate Just, Deborah Kelly, MO’JU, Clinton Naina, Nell, Claudia Nicholson, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Emily Parsons-Lord, Troye Sivan, Ali Tahayori, Salote Tawale, Renjie Teoh, Athena Thebus, Dr Christian Thompson AO, Matthew van Roden and William Yang.
Pictured Karla Dickens
Big news for musical theatre the smart and stylish film noir musical, City of Angels has been announced to play at Hayes Theatre Co from 23 June 2023 from Joshua Robson Productions (Bonnie & Clyde, In the Heights). The Tony Award winner captures the gritty sights and sounds of Hollywood’s classic detective movies, set to a brilliant, jazzy Hollywood score.
La Cage aux Folles is a unique show in that it is a traditional Broadway musical with big, brassy dance numbers and yet it was maverick and revolutionary in many other ways including giving birth to the emotional anthem I Am What I Am. And now La Cage aux Folles is back. After having to pause the production of La Cage aux Folles due to COVID-19, the show will be returning to Sydney with new dates at The Concourse Theatre in Chatswood. With Paul Capsis in the lead role as Albin, Michael Cormick, Zoë Ventoura and more for a limited season commencing 1 February 2023.
Almost 20 years since its premiere on Broadway, WICKED remains one of the most successful and popular musicals in the world. Winner of over 100 major awards including the Grammy Award, the Olivier Award, six Helpmann Awards, three Tony Awards® and six Drama Desk Awards, WICKED is “A Complete Triumph! An original musical that will make you laugh, cry and think” (USA Today). WICKED flies into Australia’s Emerald City at the Sydney Lyric from 25 August 2023.
Pictured James D. Gish and Talia Suskauer in WICKED. Photo by Joan Marcus 2022.
Marcia Hines Australia’s beloved musical treasure with a career spanning five amazing decades, will travel to Glen Street Theatre accompanied by her musicians and production crew to perform a musical celebration of her extraordinary career featuring all the hits from 22 albums. Still Shining, 50th Anniversary Concert will be performed on two nights 1 and 2 July.
Tina Turner, the musical reveals a comeback story like no other, of a woman who dared to defy the bounds of her age, gender and race to become the global Queen of Rock n’ Roll. TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL is a celebration of resilience and an inspiration of triumph over adversity.
Everything Nordic is the rage at the moment: novels, films, moody Netflix series. Now… music! Building on their decade-long commitment to performing and recording Scandinavian baroque and folk music, The Marais Project is proud to announce a new collaboration with leading Swedish artists, Duo Langborn/Wendel with a Sydney and regional NSW tour in February 2023.
Norwegian singer, songwriter and record producer AURORA takes over Liberty Hall on 6 March 2023 with a host of new songs from her critically acclaimed 2022 album, The Gods We Can Touch.
AURORA headlined Norway’s Øya Festival in August 2022, alongside Florence + The Machine, Gorillaz and more; she stunned a crowd of 20,000 people as she joined the star studded lineup of London’s BST Hyde Park in July and has been dominating stages across the US on her headline tour. April saw AURORA complete a sold out Spring UK tour where she played a packed 02 Brixton Academy in front of over 5,000 adoring fans. Not long after this she won a highly-regarded Spellemann Award (Norway’s version of the GRAMMY’s) for International Success Of The Year. No doubt she will be ready to stun with her ethereal stage presence when she graces Australian shores in 2023.
In 2023 Sydney is bringing you WorldPride where we'll will be celebrating diversity and our unique culture whilst shining a light on the human rights issues across the Asia-Pacific. Sydney Mardi Gras and Sydney WorldPride unite to present a truly global LGBTQIA+ pride festival – the very first in the Southern Hemisphere.
The theme for the festival, GATHER, DREAM, AMPLIFY, was developed in partnership with our extraordinary First Nations and LGBTQIA+ communities. It acknowledges the traditional custodians of Australia and represents our commitment to equality and inclusion.
The Pride March will be a historic moment on the final day of the Sydney WorldPride festival and will see up to 50,000 people take part in a march across the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Pride March is free but those wanting to take part in this major moment will need to apply for the ballot via the Sydney WorldPride website. The ballot will run until Sunday 8 January 2023 and individuals can apply for a maximum of four tickets. The ballot will be drawn on Monday 9 January, with successful applicants notified by email shortly after.
International pop star, Nicole Scherzinger, has been confirmed as the headline act at the hotly-anticipated Bondi Beach Party presented by Optus on Saturday 4 March 2023. The singer who had international hits with songs including “Don’t Cha” and “Buttons” – and who has carved out a stellar TV career as a presenter on Australia’s Got Talent – will be joined on the sands of the Australia’s most famous beach by leading Australian DJs dameeeela, Jarred Baker, Jacqui Cunningham, DJ Charlie Villas, and celebrating 20 years in the business, DJ Dan Murphy. Other Sydney WorldPride 2023 celebrations include Live and Proud: Sydney WorldPride Opening Concert, Domain Dance Party and Rainbow Republic.
CLOAK: Queer Science, Fashion & Photography brings together LGBTQI+ folk working in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine with emerging fashion designers to reinvent the lab coat as a symbol of queer pride. In a field in which recent research reveals many professionals remain closeted, UTS Gallery asked a dozen LGBTQI+ scientists to share their stories with UTS fashion designers. The designers then transformed discarded lab coats into new garments capturing the scientists’ queer histories.
CLOAK is presented in partnership with Sydney Social Sciences and Advanced Research Centre (SSSHARC) and the School of Chemistry, University of Sydney and the Intersectional Design Research Cluster, School of Design, UTS. CLOAK: Queer Science, Fashion & Photography is presented as part of Sydney WorldPride Pride Amplified.
After a sold-out premiere season at the Sydney Opera House in 2019 and huge acclaim on an Australian tour, the award winning smash hit show MATADOR proudly returns to Sydney, bigger, bolder and sexier than ever. MATADOR, presented as part of World Pride Amplified, will play at Riverside Theatres Parramatta from 16 February 2023 for a strictly limited season. Featuring a new stage set, new original music and some explosive new Latin acts, this will be a fresh new version of the award winning show that audiences have fallen in love with - elevated in every way.
Inspired by a tale as old as time, MATADOR is a fiery fusion of burlesque, dance and jaw-dropping circus acts. Set across a fiery Spanish sunset, this is a thematic tale of forbidden love, carnal desires, passion and pain, a tale of a love torn bull and the seductive Matador! The show takes the audience on an emotionally charged journey through love and its many faces; from the first moments you lay your eyes on that someone special, the butterflies, the flirting and sometimes, the doubt.
In March next year, Sydney WorldPride will host the largest LGBTQIA+ Human Rights Conference ever to be held in the southern hemisphere. The three-day exploration of LGBTQIA+ human rights will cover where we are now to our vision for the future and our legacy of change.
The Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference will be immersive and fast-paced, taking place in multiple spaces across three levels of Sydney’s International Convention Centre (ICC). The programme will combine inspiring keynotes, panels and roundtables with interactive workshops, performances and facilitated networking events.
Two of the hardest working men in show business Ed Kuepper and Jim White return to Sydney for two nights only at The Great Club 8 February and Brass Monkey 9 February. Kuepper, having just completed a run of residency shows with his new instrumental project Asteroid Ekosystem and drummer White, taking a brief pause from international touring with Bill Callahan, Xylouris White and Marisa Anderson, will continue their journey of exploration via Kuepper’s extensive catalogue.
"We wanted songs that we could make unique to this performance – songs that in some cases were strongly identified with the Saints, Laughing Clowns or my solo stuff – but they needed to be taken out of their original context so that you wouldn’t really pick them as new or old. The Kid, Knife In The Head, The Year of the Bloated Goat, Everything I’ve Got Belongs To You, Honey Steels Gold and Pavane, amongst others.” - Ed Kuepper
Regional NSW will also have the opportunity to witness their magic on 2 February in Murwillumbah at The Regent and 3 February 2023 in Coffs Harbour, at The Jetty.
Orange F.O.O.D Week is back in 2023 and everyone is invited to take the rural sojourn to the feast of flavours from 24 March to 2 April!
F.O.O.D Week is a celebration of the region’s best and an opportunity for festival goers to feast with friends over plentiful plates of the Central West’s finest produce, expertly paired with outstanding, cool-climate wines – local, of course! The ten-day festival includes the program of signature events as well as a variety of events throughout the week at local bars, cafes, cellar doors and restaurants.
This year, F.O.O.D Week is focussed on celebrating the collaboration between our local, chefs and producers to highlight the unique positioning of the region as both a dining destination and an agricultural food basket with more chefs involved than ever before.
Following sold out seasons around Australia, thecine-theatre sensation The Picture of Dorian Gray returns to Sydney Theatre Company before it takes the world by storm.
This breathtakingly innovative production incorporates live and pre-recorded video with live performance and enabling a single performer to nimbly shapeshift and play all of the dark tale’s 26 characters in an audacious cascade of theatrical transformations. Eryn Jean Norvill will reprise her “tour de force” (Guardian) performance for 14 shows only.
For 25 years, Dance Clan has fostered the talents of a new generation of Bangarra storytellers. First-time choreographer Ryan Pearson is a Biripi, Worimi, Minang, Goreng and Balardung man from Taree, NSW. In his Dance Clan piece, Ryan invites the audience to dive into euphoric states expressed by six Bangarra dancers connected by the pulsing heartbeat of an electronic soundscape. Watch him speak about what it means to tell his stories on stage. 3 – 18 February 2023, Studio Theatre at Bangarra, Walsh Bay.