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ACT
Music

14 Feb, 2pm | Canberra Symphony Orchestra: Forgotten Romance
This Chamber Classics concert pays homage to Clara Schumann and Franz Schubert, masters of the Romantic style.
Albert Hall, Canberra

15 Mar, 7:30pm | Selby & Friends: Exotic Strudel
Two familiar faces for Selby & Friends audiences, violinist Natsuko Yoshimoto and cellist Julian Smiles, join Kathryn Selby for the first time together in a program of Bloch, Turina, Shostakovich and Schubert.
Llewellyn Hall, Canberra

ACT
Theatre

14 Feb – 28 Feb | Shrek The Musical
Shrek The Musical follows the story of unlikely hero Shrek and his loyal steed, Donkey, as they set off on a quest to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona from her tower, where she is guarded by a fire-breathing love-sick dragon. Add the vertically challenged Lord Farquaad, a gang of fairy tale misfits, and a biscuit with attitude, and you’ve got an irresistible mix of adventure, laughter and romance, guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages!
Canberra Theatre Centre

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NSW
Music

Until 15 Feb | Arbour Festival
A 50-day multi-form arts festival led by local bush-fire affected artists, running until 15 February, exactly one year after the Dunns Road Fire wrought havoc in the region for 50 days.
Pilot Hill Arboretum, Snowy Mountains

21 Jan, 8pm | Sydney Chamber Choir: Cycles
Sydney Chamber Choir celebrates the universal experience of transition and renewal.
Seymour Centre, Sydney 

23 Jan, 11.30am & 2.30pm | Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Guy Noble

This dynamic pair are back together to perform powerful and rapturous songs and delicate classical arias.
City Recital Hall, Sydney

7 Feb, 8pm: Sunset Piazza: Ensemble Offspring  
Celebrating Steve Reich, Australia’s most innovative instrumentalists take a deep dive in the world of this legendary minimalist composer.
Cathedral Square, Sydney

7 Feb, 4pm | Paul Cutlan String Project: Living
Bridging classical, jazz and world music styles, Paul Cutlan’s String Project perform a profound and uplifting program from their new album, ‘Living’.
Riverside Theatres, Parramatta

13 – 14 Feb, 5pm | Echoes of the Jazz Age
Revered actor and director John Bell and renowned pianist Simon Tedeschi – with special guest, Blazey Best – take audiences back to the Jazz Age.
Glen Street Theatre, Belrose

15 Feb, 8pm | Sunset Piazza:  Summer Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Join the internationally acclaimed Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s brass players for an unforgettable summer concert experience.
Cathedral Square, Sydney 

16 – 19 FebAustralian Romantic & Classical Orchestra: Illuminate | Bruch, Britten, and Tchaikovsky
ARCO leads a journey through European-inspired pieces by Max Bruch, Benjamin Britten, and Tchaikovsky. Joined by Soprano Jacqueline Porter, ARCO returns with its first performances of 2021.
The Hills Grammar School, Kenthurst, Newcastle City Hall Concert Hall, City Recital Hall, Sydney

20 Feb | Omega Ensemble: Night and Now ✪
The premiere of Gordon Kerry’s Clarinet Quintet in front of a live audience has been a long time coming. Slated for the Omega Ensemble’s 2019 season, the concert was cancelled due to funding issues and rescheduled for 2020 – when COVID-19 saw it cancelled again. While the piece finally enjoyed an online premiere as part of the Sydney Opera House’s digital season in 2020, audiences will finally have a chance to hear it ‘in the flesh’ in the Omega Ensemble’s first tour of 2021, alongside quintet arrangements of Elena Kats-Chernin’s Night and Now (after her flute concerto, and featuring flautist Sally Walker) and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No 1, with Clemens Leske on piano.
Newcastle City Hall

26 Feb | Omega Ensemble: Night and Now ✪
The premiere of Gordon Kerry’s Clarinet Quintet in front of a live audience has been a long time coming. Slated for the Omega Ensemble’s 2019 season, the concert was cancelled due to funding issues and rescheduled for 2020 – when COVID-19 saw it cancelled again. While the piece finally enjoyed an online premiere as part of the Sydney Opera House’s digital season in 2020, audiences will finally have a chance to hear it ‘in the flesh’ in the Omega Ensemble’s first tour of 2021, alongside quintet arrangements of Elena Kats-Chernin’s Night and Now (after her flute concerto, and featuring flautist Sally Walker) and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No 1, with Clemens Leske on piano.
The Joan, Penrith

27 Feb | Omega Ensemble: Night and Now ✪
The premiere of Gordon Kerry’s Clarinet Quintet in front of a live audience has been a long time coming. Slated for the Omega Ensemble’s 2019 season, the concert was cancelled due to funding issues and rescheduled for 2020 – when COVID-19 saw it cancelled again. While the piece finally enjoyed an online premiere as part of the Sydney Opera House’s digital season in 2020, audiences will finally have a chance to hear it ‘in the flesh’ in the Omega Ensemble’s first tour of 2021, alongside quintet arrangements of Elena Kats-Chernin’s Night and Now (after her flute concerto, and featuring flautist Sally Walker) and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No 1, with Clemens Leske on piano.
Sydney Opera House

9 Mar, 7pm | Selby & Friends: Exotic Strudel
Two familiar faces for Selby & Friends audiences, violinist Natsuko Yoshimoto and cellist Julian Smiles, join Kathryn Selby for the first time together in a program of Bloch, Turina, Shostakovich and Schubert.
City Recital Hall, Sydney

13 Mar, 5pm | Selby & Friends: Exotic Strudel
Two familiar faces for Selby & Friends audiences, violinist Natsuko Yoshimoto and cellist Julian Smiles, join Kathryn Selby for the first time together in a program of Bloch, Turina, Shostakovich and Schubert.
Chevalier College Performing Arts Centre, Southern Highlands

14 Mar, 2:15pm | Selby & Friends: Exotic Strudel
Two familiar faces for Selby & Friends audiences, violinist Natsuko Yoshimoto and cellist Julian Smiles, join Kathryn Selby for the first time together in a program of Bloch, Turina, Shostakovich and Schubert.
Turramurra Uniting Church, Turramurra

24 Mar – 5 Apr | Australian Brandenburg Orchestra: Handel’s Rome ✪
Period instrument ensemble the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s first program of 2021 draws, like many of the concerts listed here, on a sense of place – but in this case it’s a city rather than the natural world. Handel’s Rome explores the influences of the Italian city on the young composer, who arrived in the city in 1706. In this concert we hear the music of Rome in Concerti Grossi by Corelli and a violin concerto by Brescianello, alongside Handel’s own Dixit Dominus featuring the ABO and the Brandenburg Choir.
City Recital Hall, Sydney

8 – 11 April | Orange Chamber Music Festival 

A four-day event designed to allow visitors to enjoy not only the carefully crafted programs and varied performances, but to explore and to experience the fascinating hospitality network of Orange, NSW.
Various venues, Orange

NSW
Theatre

Until – 31 Jan | Sydney Lyric: Pippin
Following an outcry about the lack of diversity in Australian musical theatre with the announcement of 30 all-white semi-finalists in this year’s (subsequently cancelled) Rob Guest Endowment Award, there was a ruction when the producers of Pippin announced they were importing American performer Gabrielle McClinton to portray the Leading Player rather than casting a local performer of colour. The producers maintained they were unable to find a Sydney-based Australian with the requisite skills in singing, dancing and acrobatics. The production, directed by Diane Paulus, which premiered on Broadway in 2014, has a circus setting and features breathtaking acrobatics. They’ve got magic to do . . . Read our review here.
Lyric Theatre, Sydney

29 Jan – 13 Feb | Montague Basement: Videotape
Drawing from David Lynch’s Lost Highway, Hideo Nakata’s Ring and Michael Haneke’s Hidden, Videotape is a surreal new thriller that points the camcorder at the lies and complicities that prop up our everyday lives.
Kings Cross Theatre, Potts Point

Until – 21 Mar |  Disney’s: Frozen The Musical
Disney’s 2013 film Frozen is the highest grossing animated movie of all time. The stage adaptation, featuring an enhanced book by the original screenwriter Jennifer Lee and a dozen new songs by composer/lyricists Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, opened on Broadway in March 2018. Reviews were somewhat mixed but Limelight Editor at Large Clive Paget was won over, saying in a 4.5 star rave: “in the sure hands of British director Michael Grandage, Disney sails a steady course where humanity succeeds over mere effect and good old-fashioned theatricality triumphs over any temptation to overdo the technology”. The Australian production stars Jemma Rix (Wicked) as Elsa, Courtney Monsma (SIX The Musical) as Anna, and Matt Lee (Mary Poppins) as the talking snowman Olaf. Read our review here.
Capitol Theatre, Sydney 

Until – 31 Jan | Belvoir: My Brilliant Career 
A fiery tale of female emancipation, Miles Franklin’s 1901 novel My Brilliant Career tells the story of headstrong Sybylla Melvyn who longs to escape the restricted life on offer for young women in rural Australia. The novel was famously adapted into a 1979 film starring Judy Davis. Earlier this year, Mathew Frank and Dean Bryant released the original cast recording of their impressive new musical, based on the book. Now comes a new play by Kendall Feaver (The Almighty Sometime), directed by Kate Champion and starring Nikki Shiels. “Dark, funny, and roughly a century ahead of her time, Sybylla’s voice is one that demands to be heard – a guttural cry of rage against the inequities set at birth,” says Feaver. Read our review here.
Belvoir St Theatre 

Until – 31 Jan | Rent
This legendary rock musical. Join the bohemian revolution and celebrate the 25th anniversary of this global musical phenomenon with a never more prevalent message: “no day but today”.  Read the review.
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House

Until – 23 Jan | New Theatre: Twelth Night (heads or tails) 
Viola is shipwrecked in a strange land and, believing her brother to be dead, she dresses as a boy and goes to work for the lovesick Orsino. Orsino sends her to woo Olivia, setting into motion a whirlwind of mistaken identity, unrequited love and elaborate pranks. In Illyria music is the food of love, and anything is possible.  In fact, in this production almost anything is possible, with twelve actors each learning two roles and tossing a coin at the start of the performance to determine their parts. With twelve actors there are 64 casting combinations, so no two nights will ever be the same. “It’s still Twelfth Night, with all its lovers, shipwrecks, fools, puritans and rings,” says director Victor Kalka, “but it’s also an experiment that riffs on the play’s themes of sexuality, identity, doubling and fate.”
New Theatre, Newtown 

Until – 24 Jan The Australian Shakespeare Company: The Wind in the Willows
The must-do family theatre experience, The Australian Shakespeare Company’s The Wind in the Willows, is back in Melbourne this summer holidays to entertain children and parents alike.
The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Until – 16 Jan | National Theatre of Parramatta: Queen Fatima
A world premiere season, Queen Fatima is a heart-warming new comedy that flips stereotypes, revealing the paradigm shifting potential of ‘diversity quotas’.
Riverside Theatres, Parramatta

8 – 17 Jan | Sydney Festival: Sunshine Super Girl
In 1980, Evonne Goolagong became the first mother to win Wimbledon in 66 years. She was also the first Indigenous woman to win a Grand Slam. Yorta Yorta and Gunaikurnai writer/director Andrea James –
a self-confessed “tennis geek” – tells the remarkable story of the Riverina-raised Australian tennis legend in Sunshine Super Girl. After a successful premiere in Griffith in 2020, Sydney Festival presents the play at Sydney Town Hall, where a tennis court will be built for the production. Katie Beckett stars as Goolagong in an all-First Nations cast.
Sydney Town Hall

20 – 23 Jan | UTP and Sweatshop: Sex, Drugs & Pork Rolls
Experienced as an immersive, multi-screen four-part monologue installation Sex, Drugs & Pork Rolls is an oral storytelling experience from the heartland of multicultural Australia, a four-part monologue that weaves together a portrait of young people of colour growing up in the Western suburbs of Sydney. 
Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres

30 Jan – 20 Feb | Belvior: Fangirls 
Edna’s fourteen and is head over heels in love with Harry – he’s beautiful, talented, perfect. But he’s also the face of ‘True Connection’, the world’s biggest boy band. And getting his attention will stretch the resources of anyone – even someone as clever and resourceful as Edna. Yve Blake’s uproarious musical makes its much-anticipated return.
Seymour Centre 

22 Feb – 1 May | Sydney Theatre Company: Playing Beatie Bow
Sydney Theatre Company’s long awaited return to the renovated Wharf will be celebrated with the world premiere of Playing Beatie Bow, adapted by Kate Mulvany from Ruth Park’s novel. Mulvany knocked our socks off with her gripping, two-part adaptation of Park’s Harp in the South trilogy, directed by STC Artistic Director Kip Williams, who will also direct Playing Beatie Bow. The story – set in and around The Rocks, the suburb STC calls home – centres on Abigail, a teenager dealing with her parents’ separation, who follows the mysterious young Beatie Bow from the present day back in time to The Rocks in 1873. Catherine Văn-Davies plays Abigail, with Sofia Nolan as Beatie Bow.
Wharf 1 Theatre

20 Mar – 25 Apr | Belvior: Stop Girl
A new play about the front lines of normal life. Susie’s at the top of her game. She’s devoted the best years of her life to reporting from the dangerous frontlines all over the world. But even the most resilient foreign correspondents need to come home one day. What happened to Australia while she was away? And what happened to her?
Belvoir St Theatre

NSW
Physical Theatre and Dance

20 – 24 Jan | Bangarra Dance Theatre: Spirit:  A Retrospective 2021
Spirit: a retrospective 2021 draws on three decades of repertoire to celebrate the unbroken connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the land.  Set to a haunting score, Spirit: a retrospective 2021 invites audiences to connect with stories and songlines from across the nation with a collection of work from across the company’s rich history. 
The Headland at Barangaroo Reserve 

CIrca Peepshpw still

2 – 14 Feb | Circa: Peepshow
Seductive, playful, and surprising. Plunge into a world of fun and temptation as Australia’s most ground-breaking circus company exposes your deepest desires. 
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House

16 – 27 Feb | Sydney Dance Company: Impermanence
A few days before Sydney Dance Company was due to premiere Impermanence, COVID-19 hit and the season was cancelled. It was a “heartbreaking disappointment”, said Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela, who had choreographed the work to a new score by Bryce Dessner, co-commissioned with the Australian String Quartet who were to perform the music live on stage. Initially inspired by the bushfires and the fire at Notre Dame, Impermanence was originally a short piece programmed as part of a triple bill. But Bonachela and Dessner have used the hiatus to expand it into a full-length work, which embraces the impact of the coronavirus as it explores the juxtaposition of beauty and devastation.
Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney

18 – 20 Feb | FORM Dance Projects: TWO
The new work by acclaimed choreographer and dancer Raghav Handa. TWO, lovingly subverts the conventional wisdom underpinning traditional Indian Kathak; that the musician sits at the top of the hierarchy leading the performance, while the dancer’s role is to follow where they are told. In classic Raghav Handa style the work is playful, full of humour, physically challenging, and treats its subject matter with the grace and reverence it deserves. 
Riverside Theatres, Parramatta

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NT Music

Coming soon.

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QLD
Music

21 Feb | Southern Cross Soloists: Souvenirs de Aranjuez ✪
The Southern Cross Soloists’ first concert of 2021 will see a long-time friend of the ensemble, guitarist Slava Grigoryan, join them for a program that spans Spanish baroque to the French Belle Époque and a new Australian work. The concert opens with baroque music by De Ribayaz, De Murcia and Matteis, and will feature a selection of Debussy Préludes, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major and Rodrigo’s famous guitar concerto, Concierto de Aranjuez. At the centre of the program is the world premiere of a new piece, Secrets, by Sydney composer Natalie Nicolas.
QPAC, Brisbane

28 Feb, 11am | Queensland Symphony Orchestra: Musical Landscapes
Queensland Symphony Orchestra will also showcase music that evokes landscapes in its first Music on Sunday’s program of the year, hosted by Guy Noble and conducted by cellist turned conductor Umberto Clerici. The program includes music such as the thunderstorm from Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony and Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending (featuring QSO Concertmaster Warwick Adeney as soloist) as well as Maria Grenfell’s 2004 River Mountain Sky, commissioned by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra to mark Tasmania’s Bicentenary. Grenfell writes that the music “portrays mist over the estuary, sunshine dancing off a bright blue river and cascades of rushing water, yielding to darkness and the peace of evening”.
QPAC, Brisbane

Loreli Opera Queensland

6 – 13 March | Opera Queensland: Lorelei
Myth meets modern woman in this contemporary reimagining of the Lorelei legend. Three sirens of song – the Lorelei – sit atop the cliffs of the River Rhine enchanting sailors with their alluring songs. The Lorelei take no prisoners as sailors lose focus… and ultimately their lives on the rocks below. But are the Lorelei growing tired of singing sailors to their deaths? Can they help being so irresistible? Join Ali McGregor, Antoinette Halloran and Dimity Shepherd for this tantalising journey of self-discovery combining cabaret, burlesque and opera.
Concert Hall, QPAC

QLD
Theatre

9 Jan –  7 Feb | QPAC: Shrek the Musical ✪
Musicals returned to the stage in Sydney in December with productions of Pippin and Frozen. Now Brisbane is opening its doors to its first post-COVID, multi-million dollar show with Shrek, perfectly timed for the summer holidays. Based on the much-loved DreamWorks film, the lavish musical tells the twisted fairytale of the ogre Shrek and his loyal steed Donkey who set out to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona from a tower guarded by a dragon. Reviewing the show in Sydney, Limelight called it “a truly enjoyable, escapist night in the theatre” with loads of humour and heart.
Lyric Theatre, QPAC

QLD
Physical Theatre and Dance

5 – 20 March | Queensland Ballet: 60th Anniversary Gala
Honours a vibrant history of dance that showcases exciting excerpts from five world-class productions. Watch as we come alive on stage, performed by our world-class dancers and glitter in the coming of age of this extraordinary company. The production pays tribute to each of Queensland Ballet’s five Artistic Directors: Charles Lisner OBE, Harry Haythorne, Harold Collins MBE, François Klaus and Li Cunxin AO.
Playhouse, QPAC

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SA
Music

5 Feb – 13 Mar | Adelaide Festival: A Midsummer Night’s Dream ✪
The Adelaide Festival has an enviable track record when it comes to importing the most interesting productions from overseas – think Barrie Kosky’s staging of Handel’s Saul and Brett Dean’s Hamlet. This year, they have necessarily looked closer to home and programmed Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. One of the most enduring of 20th-centuy operas, the composer and his partner Peter Pears’ excellent adaptation will take flight in a 2009 staging by Festival co-Artistic Director Neil Armfield with American rising-star countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen as Oberon, and a cast that includes Rachelle Durkin, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Warwick Fyfe, Kanen Breen and Taryn Fiebig.
Adelaide Festival Centre

12 – 13 Feb, 6:30pm | ASO Symphony Series 1 – Joyous Reminisence 
Dane Lam conducts the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra with works by Elena Kats-Chernin, Baraber, and Tchaikovsky, joined by soloist Soprano Lauren Fagan.
Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre.

13 Feb, 5pm | Chinese New Year Concert 2021
To celebrate the Year of the Ox, join us to experience an evocative fusion of traditional Chinese instruments and western music elements performed by talented local musicians.  The concert features mostly original music and work, composed by local musicians Zhao Liang, Satomi Ohnishi, Joel Ang, David Dai and Xuting Zhao. 
Adelaide Festival Centre

2 – 3 March | Musica Viva: Diana Doherty and The Streeton Trio
This lovely concert features two works specifically written for the rare combination of oboe, violin, cello and piano. The first is a tuneful and attractive quartet written just after the war by Czech émigré Bohuslav Martinů. This amazing and still under-rated composer, whose retentive memory for music was literally prodigious, probably wrote it in his head while on a long evening walk before returning to his Manhattan brownstone to jot it down. The second is the world premiere of a work by acclaimed young Australian Lachlan Skipworth, whose new Oboe Quartet is a musical portrait of the couple in whose memory it was commissioned, reflecting their shared love of Bach, their hobbies, and characters in its vibrant colours, interlaced lines and lively textures.
Adelaide Town Hall

7 Mar, 2:30pm | Selby & Friends: Exotic Strudel
Two familiar faces for Selby & Friends audiences, violinist Natsuko Yoshimoto and cellist Julian Smiles, join Kathryn Selby for the first time together in a program of Bloch, Turina, Shostakovich and Schubert.
Elder Hall, Adelaide

SA
Theatre

19 Feb – 23 March | A German Life: Co-produced by Adelaide Festival and The Gordon Frost Organisation
When Maggie Smith premiered Christopher Hampton’s play A German Life in London in 2019, it won rave reviews, with The Guardian calling it “a triumph”. In what promises to be a highlight of this year’s Adelaide Festival, Robyn Nevin will perform the 90-minute solo tour de force, directed by Neil Armfield. Nevin plays Brunhilde Pomsel, a self-described “apolitical woman”, who worked as a secretary to Joseph Goebbels. Hampton fashioned his play from testimony that Pomsel gave to Austrian documentary makers when she was 103. She died aged 105 in January 2017.Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre

2 – 8 Mar | Back to Back Theatre: Small Metal Objects
It’s street-theatre-but-not-as-we-know-it in which the performers are disguised threads in the very real tapestry of a busy city thoroughfare and we, be-headphoned on raked seating, are the ones on display to be ignored or gawked at by passers-by. Via our ears though, the familiar urban scene becomes a movie replete with evocative score, and its cast of thousands is quickly narrowed down to four protagonists. Locating them isn’t easy, and it’s part of the game, but their story is as surprising and compelling as any thriller.
Moseley Square, Glenelg

27 Feb – 14 Mar | Fangirls
Edna’s fourteen and is head over heels in love with Harry – he’s beautiful, talented, perfect. But he’s also the face of ‘True Connection’, the world’s biggest boy band. And getting his attention will stretch the resources of anyone – even someone as clever and resourceful as Edna. Yve Blake’s uproarious musical makes its much-anticipated return.
Ridley Centre, Adelaide Showground

SA
Physical Theatre and Dance

25  Feb – 3 Mar Gravity & Other Myths: The Pulse
Sixty people on stage: 30 physical performers and 30 choristers. It sounds like the stuff of lockdown dreams, but it’s happening at this year’s Adelaide Festival when Australian circus company Gravity & Other Myths combines forces with Aurora – Young Adelaide Voices to premiere The Pulse. Gravity & Other Myths have been described by Limelight as “masters of the astonishing”. Here they form a single organism with the choir to create an intricate synchronicity of movement and sound. Watch as a mountain of bodies crumble into an ocean of voice, and towering human structures move with precision through five kilometres of pulsing computer-controlled web – all to the beat of your own pounding pulse.
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide

10 – 11 Mar | Sydney Dance Company: Impermanence
A few days before Sydney Dance Company was due to premiere Impermanence, COVID-19 hit and the season was cancelled. It was a “heartbreaking disappointment”, said Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela, who had choreographed the work to a new score by Bryce Dessner, co-commissioned with the Australian String Quartet who were to perform the music live on stage. Initially inspired by the bushfires and the fire at Notre Dame, Impermanence was originally a short piece programmed as part of a triple bill. But Bonachela and Dessner have used the hiatus to expand it into a full-length work, which embraces the impact of the coronavirus as it explores the juxtaposition of beauty and devastation.
Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre

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TAS
Music

16 – 17 Jan | BigHart: Accoustic Life of Boatsheds
Set out on a migratory path around the North Esk and Tamar Rivers, stopping off at boatsheds along the way. Musicians inhabit each shed and perform new compositions for you, inspired by each boatshed’s hidden culture, character and random, shed-related stuff.
Boatsheds around the Tamar and North Esk Rivers, Launceston

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VIC
Music

Until –  7 Mar | Heide Summer Festival
Highlights of the nine-week program include: A series of jazz performances by Victorian-based jazz artists across three Sundays in January, curated by the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. Performances by First Nations musicians, dancers and storytellers presented by Songlines over two weekends in February. The Heide Summer Festival will end on 7 March with Opa! Bato, a Trubacki Orkestar performing authentic contemporary Balkan brass music from the rich traditions of Serbia, Macedonia and beyond.
Heide Museum of Modern Art, 7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen VIC 3105.

21 Jan, 6.30pm | PSMF: Melbourne Guitar Quartet
Formed in 2005, the Melbourne Guitar Quartet is a vibrant guitar-based ensemble dedicated to the development of chamber music repertoire for the instrument. In this concert they will perform works from their latest album alongside familiar favourites of the ensemble.
Port Phillip Estate, Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula

23 Jan, 3pm | Heide Summer Music Festival: Youth Jazz
Listen to the next generation of talented young jazz singers and musicians. This free event features students from the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School (VCASS); one of the finest music schools in Australia, and Blackburn Secondary College; also renowned for its outstanding music program. 
Heide Museum of Modern Art

24 Jan, 4pm | Heide Summer Music Festival: Nichaud Fitzgibbon
A natural, charismatic performer and one of Australia’s favourite jazz stylists. Hailing from the famous Fitzgibbon family, Nichaud’s musical pedigree spans three generations and is regarded as Jazz royalty. 
Heide Museum of Modern Art

31 Jan, 4pm | Heide Summer Music Festival: Allara Briggs Pattison
Is a Yorta Yorta musician, composer, filmmaker, and storyteller. Inspired by ancient oral traditions and using a double bass and loop station. Presented by the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.
Heide Museum of Modern Art

3 – 7 Feb | Melbourne Opera: Das Rheingold
While the bigger companies make a tentative return to live performance, one outfit stands out from the crowd for ambition and sheer daring. Melbourne Opera, which has scored Wagnerian successes in the past with The Flying DutchmanTannhäuserLohengrin and Tristan and Isolde, has announced a Ring Cycle no less, starting with the dramatically demanding Das Rheingold. Suzanne Chaundy directs with Anthony Negus – a seriously fancied Wagnerian – and David Kram at the helm. The cast are none too shabby either with Warwick Fyfe – Opera Australia’s Alberich – stepping into the big boy’s shoes to sing Wotan and Sarah Sweeting as Fricka.
Regent Theatre, Melbourne

3 – 7 Feb | Bendigo Chamber Music Festival
After a thrilling launch and sold out inaugural festival, we are excited to present our second festival. BCMF will bring some of Australia’s very best artists together for 15 concerts.
Various Venues Bendigo

7 Feb, 1 -2 pm | Heide Summer Music Festival: Djirri Djirri Dance Group
In collaboration with Songlines, Heide is proud to present Indigenous artists, dancers and storytellers across two weekends in February. Presented by singer/songwriter Robert Bundle, the co-CEO of Songlines. Djirri Djirri Dance Group are the only Wurundjeri all-female dance group and Traditional Custodians of Narrm (Melbourne) They are all related by blood through Annie Borate, William Barak’s sister. Djirri Djirri support Wurundjeri Womens Business, Bunjil’s wings, Motherhood, Sisterhood, and Honouring of Ancestors. Their songs represent creation, values, respect and protection of Country.
Heide Museum of Modern Art

14 Feb, 4pm | Heide Summer Music Festival: The Deans
In collaboration with Songlines, Heide is proud to present Indigenous artists, dancers and storytellers across two weekends in February. Presented by singer/songwriter Robert Bundle, the co-CEO of Songlines. The Deans are a critically acclaimed original soul band based in Melbourne. They were winners of The Age Music Victoria Award for Best Indigenous Act 2014, and were nominated for ‘Band of the Year’ in the prestigious Deadly Awards in 2007. The Deans have been described as a United Nations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, unified in the one soul groove! 
Heide Museum of Modern Art

20 Feb, 6.30pm & 8.30pm |  MSO and Australian Art Orchestra present: WATA a gathering for songmen, improvising soloists and orchestra
 A new work composed by Paul Grabowsky (MSO’s 2021 Composer in Residence and Founder of the Australian Art Orchestra).  WATA will feature long time AAO collaborators and Yolngu songmen, Daniel and David Wilfred, alongside members of the MSO and the AAO. The music celebrates the ancient culture of the Wagilak people and the traditional Arnhem land manikay: ceremonial song cycles binding the community together, creating a space of identity, place and unity.
Hammer Hall, Melbourne

22 Feb, 7pm | Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra: Illuminate | Bruch, Britten, and Tchaikovsky
ARCO leads a journey through European-inspired pieces by Max Bruch, Benjamin Britten, and Tchaikovsky.
Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne

26 Feb – 1 Mar | Melbourne Symphony Orchestra: Cheetham and Beethoven ✪
Yorta Yorta soprano and composer Deborah Cheetham’s year as Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Composer in Residence 2020 was – like Beethoven’s 250th birthday celebrations – disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Her new work Nanyubak (Dreaming the future), however, will have its world premiere in February, alongside Beethoven’s Third Symphony. The concert will see the MSO joined by violist Aaron Wyatt and conducted by Jaime Martín – one of just a handful of international conductors on the MSO season announced so far.
Arts Centre Melbourne

20 – 26 Feb | Victorian Opera: The Sleeping Beauty ✪
Respighi’s take on the classic fairytale was written in 1921 for a marionette theatre and revised a decade later as La Bella Dormente nel Bosco. Nancy Black’s production for VO, first seen in 2017, uses elements of both scores, mixing singers and a wonderful array of larger-than-life puppets. Respighi’s operas don’t seem to have stood the test of time, but this one’s a real charmer – think Humperdinck meets Puccini. Yes, it was written for children, but adults should find much to enjoy. “This sophisticated, elegant production by Victorian Opera is an utter delight,” said Limelight’s Lisa MacKinney.
Palais Theatre, St Kilda

7 Mar, 4pm | Heide Summer Music Festival: Opa! Bato
Opa! Bato is the only ‘Trubački Orkestar’ in Australia, performing authentic Balkan brass music from the rich traditions of Serbia, Macedonia and beyond. With its lively rhythms, soaring melodies and wild Turkish-influenced improvisations, this music has accompanied major events in the cultural life of these regions since the early 1800s. 
Heide Museum of Modern Art

11 Mar, 7:30pm | Selby & Friends: Exotic Strudel
Two familiar faces for Selby & Friends audiences, violinist Natsuko Yoshimoto and cellist Julian Smiles, join Kathryn Selby for the first time together in a program of Bloch, Turina, Shostakovich and Schubert.
Methodist Ladies’ College, Melbourne

Omega Ensemble

26 March | Omega Ensemble: Night and Now ✪
The premiere of Gordon Kerry’s Clarinet Quintet in front of a live audience has been a long time coming. Slated for the Omega Ensemble’s 2019 season, the concert was cancelled due to funding issues and rescheduled for 2020 – when COVID-19 saw it cancelled again. While the piece finally enjoyed an online premiere as part of the Sydney Opera House’s digital season in 2020, audiences will finally have a chance to hear it ‘in the flesh’ in the Omega Ensemble’s first tour of 2021, alongside quintet arrangements of Elena Kats-Chernin’s Night and Now (after her flute concerto, and featuring flautist Sally Walker) and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No 1, with Clemens Leske on piano.
Melbourne Recital CentreM

VIC
Physical Theatre and Dance

3 – 13 Feb | Theatre Works & Na Djinang Circus: Common Dissonance 
This work seeks balance, community, exchange, unity and diversity, featuring two contemporary circus performers with shared and distinctly individual experiences. Isabelle Champagne-Chittick (Social Staples) is a white Australian raised in regional NSW, and Harley Mann (Casus, CIRCA) is an indigenous Australian raised in Sydney. The two performers live and work in Melbourne, where this show was created.
Theatre Works, St Kilda East

25 – 28 Feb | The Australian Ballet: Summertime at the Ballet ✪
It’s new era at The Australian Ballet under Artistic Director David Hallberg. Finally returning to the stage after most of its 2020 season was cancelled, the company begins 2021 with a spectacular, welcome-back gala, exclusive to Melbourne. Performed under the night sky at Margaret Court Arena – a new venue for the company – the dancers will sparkle and shine in excerpts from Marius Petipa’s La Bayadère, Tim Harbour’s Filigree and Shadow, Steven Baynes’ Molto Vivace, George Balanchine’s Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux and Themes and Variations, Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote, Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow, and Lucas Jervies’ Spartacus. Tutu lovely.
Margaret Court Arena

VIC
Theatre

Until  –  24 Jan The Australian Shakespeare Company: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
An Australian Shakespeare Company classic and the jewel in the Shakespeare comedy crown, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is returning to Melbourne this year to dazzle and delight audiences of all ages.
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria – Southern Cross Lawn

30 Jan – 6 Mar The Australian Shakespeare Company: Macbeth
The Macbeths are back with their unparalleled thrust for the ultimate power of the throne. A stunning mix of minds games and manipulation, sparked by the prophesies of three witches that Macbeth encounters on the heath as he returns from war, triggers his burning ambition which in turn ignites an inferno in his wife to inspire him to kill for the crown.
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria – Southern Cross Lawn

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WA
Music

5 – 7 Feb |  West Australian Symphony Orchestra: Dreams of Place ✪
In a concert that spans Perth’s Derbarl Yerrigan to Finland’s Kemijoki, Noongar singers Barry McGuire and Della Rae Morrison will join with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and West Australian Youth Orchestra, under the baton of Thaddeus Huang, for Dreams of Place, part of Iain Grandage’s 2021 Perth Festival program. The concert will see Sibelius’s Finlandia and suites from Copland’s The Tender Land and Stravinsky’s The Firebird performed alongside two new commissions by Noongar composers, including Della Rae Morrison.
Perth Concert Hall

WA
Theatre

17 Feb – 14 Mar | Black Swan State Theatre Company: The Cherry Orchard ✪
Black Swan opens its 2021 season with an Aussie take on Chekhov’s final masterpiece, presented in association with Perth Festival. Adapted by Adriane Daff and Katherine Tonkin, the play is now set in Manjimup in WA, where the BBQ is firing, the champagne flowing, and the debts mounting. The only thing to be done is to sell the estate. The production will be staged at the Sunset Heritage Precinct where audiences will move from the grand hall to the gumtrees and onto a party in the courtyard, equipped with a vodka bar. Ypa! Or should we say cheers!
Sunset Heritage Estate

WA
Physical Theatre and Dance

5 – 27 Febuary | West Australian Ballet: As One – Ballet at the Quarry
Be treated to two world premieres in this program of three ballet and contemporary dance works.
City Beach Quarry Amphitheatre.

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