The Sydney Opera House is arguably one of the most under-utilised venues in Sydney. A quandary ensues in the minds of Sydneysiders as to why this is the case? It is undoubtedly located in one of the best locations in Sydney, if not the world, yet in the eyes of many who don't regularly take in the fine arts, it is merely an architectural marvel to appreciate.
While festivals at Sydney Harbour seem to be few and far between, it would appear that this spring will be the time to take advantage of all that the Sydney Opera House has to offer. At the end of September the Sydney Opera House will be re-introducing a festival known as GRAPHIC, which will also crossover with this spring's Music at the House program. It must be said that this year's line up looks like it will be simply stellar.
GRAPHIC Festival - Mad Max: Fury Road - Creating The Apocalypse
The Sydney Opera House's GRAPHIC Festival is all about celebrating the art of graphic storytelling, animation and music. It would appear that this year's edition of the festival will also be incorporating a celebration of film. Headlining this section of the program will be a live conversation with Australian writer-director George Miller, as he goes behind the behind the scenes into the creation of his film Mad Max: Fury Road.
GRAPHIC Festival - Mad Max: Fury Road - Creating The Apocalypse
Mad Max: Fury Road - Creating The Apocalypse will take audiences into the 12-year creative process that went into making the movie, all the way from story board to screen. Co-writer and illustrator Brendan McCarthy will also be in attendance, alongside co-writer and dramaturge Nico Lathouris. The presentation will elaborate on the backstories created for every character, costume and vehicle. All of which were a result of 3500 graphic novel style storyboards that formed the blueprint for the universally well received film.
GRAPHIC Festival - George Miller on set with Mad Max: Fury Road
George Miller's movie which was only released this year, is undoubtedly the visual masterpiece of 2015. Watching Mad Max: Fury Road conjures a style of acrobatics that can only be compared to Cirque du Soleil. The main difference being that the show takes place in middle of the desert, with a stage on wheels, travelling at speeds so fast that they could only adequately be described as dangerous. The presentation will also include unseen footage from the movie that has perhaps redefined the action genre for the rest of time.
Writer-Director Kevin Smith will also be in attendance at GRAPHIC festival. The creator of the cult movies Clerks and Mallrats, will be giving a talk entitled Keven Smith's Superhero Multiverse. The talk will also feature special guest Jason Mewes. Kevin Smith has a reputation of being highly entertaining during his keynote speeches, always throwing in plenty of behind the scenes Hollywood anecdotes. Working for both Marvel and DC Comics at various points in his career, there is probably no better person to give a keynote discussion on the relatively recent resurgence of the Superhero blockbuster frenzy.
GRAPHIC Festival - Kevin Smith's Superhero Multiverse at the Sydney Opera House
With the popularity of comic books overwhelming society once again, GRAPHIC Festival also plans to feature some of the best graphic novel artists in the business today. Nicola Scott: From DC To Black Magick will feature a conversation with Australian comic book artist Nicola Scott. Currently working in the American comic book industry, Nicola Scott made her start working with Dark Horse and Image comics. Her fantastic artwork caused her to quickly become a fan favourite. She moved on to work exclusively for DC Comics, working on titles including Birds Of Prey, Secret Six, Teen Titans, Superman and most famously Wonder Woman, in addition to the New York Times Bestseller Earth 2.
GRAPHIC Festival - Nicola Scott: From DC To Black Magick
Nicola Scott will discuss how she began working for the world's biggest comics publishing companies while being based in Sydney, in addition to how she has come to leave these companies behind and focus on her own creator owned work. She is currently working on her new series Black Magick, which will be released by Image comics in October. As a bonus, this talk just happens to be free to attend.
GRAPHIC Festival - Special screening of The Mindscape of Alan Moore at Sydney Opera House
The festival will also feature a free screening of The Mindscape of Alan Moore. The reclusive comic genius is arguably one of the most influential storytellers in the world today. Alan Moore is most famous for his graphic novels Watchmen, V For Vendetta, From Hell, Swamp Thing and of course one of the most iconic Batman stories of all time The Killing Joke. To this very day Watchmen is the only graphic novel to feature on TIME magazine's 100 greatest novels of all time list. The best part of this screening is that it is also free to attend.
GRAPHIC Festival - Behind the Bricks - How Animal Logic Crafted The Lego Movie
Also part of GRAPHIC Festival will be Behind The Bricks - How Animal Logic Crafted The Lego Movie. Australian studio Animal Logic has previously worked on films such as Happy Feet, 300, The Great Gatsby and of course most recently the BAFTA-Award winning The Lego Movie. In this presentation Art Director at Animal Logic Grant Freckelton takes audiences behind the scenes, talking about some of the creative and technical challenges involved in making the hit film based on the eternally popular line of toys.
Headlining the Music at the House program will be UK artists Florence and the Machine. Lead singer Florence Welch has been repeatedly written about as if she was the reincarnation of Kate Bush and P.J. Harvey. Yet she is much more than that. Her appeal and reach across pop culture has been extremely broad in recent years. It would appear she can do anything, ranging from playing the part of indy song writer all the way to electronic dance music diva, most famously collaborating with EDM superpower Calvin Harris.
It has been a big year for Florence and the Machine, with their latest album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful going nine times number one. They also headlined Glastonbury festival to great acclaim, following an untimely incident causing the Foo Fighters to pull out. The band also added the main stage of Coachella music festival to their resume. The How Big Tour will be at the Sydney Opera House forecourt from November 13th until November 17th, with Florence and the Machine recently announcing an additional concert in Sydney. The concerts will undoubtedly feature their hit songs "Dog Days Are Over", "You Got The Love", "Ship To Wreck", "Never Let Me Go", "Sweet Nothing" and of course "Spectrum".
The Music at the House contemporary music program is also set to feature artists Chet Faker from November 6th to 7th, Tame Impala on November 11th and Sarah Blasko with her "Eternal Return" album preview on September 28th and October 10th and 11th. Prices to attend vary depending on each event. You can buy tickets from the GRAPHIC and Music at The House websites, as well as find additional events that are free to attend.