Australia Day Live at Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay

It was the concert for the nation under a perfect summer evening in Sydney when crowds, eager to attend a large-scale outdoor show after two years of COVID restrictions, spread out around Circular Quay and filled the Sydney Opera House Forecourt and steps for night of Aussie classics and incredible First Nations song and dance.

Australia Day Live at Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay is finished

When

07:30 PM - 09:30 PM

26 January 2022

Where

Sydney Opera House

2 Circular Quay East, Sydney, NSW, 2000

Important Information

Free access

Australia Day Artist Line-up

Artists from around the country, most live on stage and some via video, showcased their amazing talent - Casey Donovan, Delta Goodrem, Isaiah Firebrace, Jon Stevens, William Barton and Shane Howard just some of the all-star line-up backed up by Creative Director John Foreman, live orchestra and the KARI singers, Koomurri dancers and VOX choir.

As fireworks exploded over the Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay and jet skis, fly-boarders and lit vessels came together for a maritime spectacle on Sydney Harbour choreographed to the music, Jon Stevens lifted the crowd with Take Me Back then Andrew Farriss, founding INXS band member, added his voice and musical weight to a couple of INXS smash hits.

Country singers Amber Lawrence, Kirsty Lee Akers, Aleyce Simmonds and Haylee Jensen and Andrew Farriss performed a stunning version of John Williamson’s True Blue and Josh Piterman and Mark Vincent operatic Nessun Dorma was another goose-bump moment.

Creative consultant and musician William Barton played a leading role in the line-up for Australia Day Live 2022 and it was his vision that brought Goanna’s 1982 hit Solid Rock, Sacred Ground to life in the song’s 40th anniversary year.

Performed by Goanna songwriter Shane Howard, soul singer Emma Donovan and William on stage, the epic concert opener included backing vocals by the IWIRI choir filmed at Uluru and extraordinary Virtual Reality of European arrival by Brett Leavy – ‘Standing on the shore one day, Saw the white sails in the Sun…’

Australia Day Live 2022 was a mesmerising concert that delivered heart-warming video stories spanning our vast nation, showcased the depth and spectrum of Australian musical talent and brought joy and hope to the live and the online audience after a challenging couple of years.

Re-live Australia Day Live on ABC iview: https://iview.abc.net.au/show/australia-day-live-2022 (available until April 26)

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JOHN FOREMAN OAM – Australia Day Live Creative Director

John Foreman OAM is a musical director, event director, pianist and composer, plus a well-recognised face on Australian television. He’s the man behind many of the biggest events in Australian entertainment.

In 2015 John was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division (OAM) for service to the performing arts. He is the ambassador for Music: Count Us In, an initiative of the Australian Music Council, and hosts the annual Schools Spectacular on the Seven Network.

He continues as Creative Director for Australia Day in NSW, hosting the Australia Day Live concert in 2019 and 2020 and returning in 2022.

WILLIAM BARTON – Australia Day 2022 Creative Consultant and performer

The Australia Day of Council of NSW is working with composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist William Barton to further enhance Australia Day in Sydney programming. William is widely recognised and respected as one
of Australia's leading yidaki (didgeridoo) players and composers.

William was instrumental in the opening segment of the 2021 Australia Day Live broadcast ‘Virtual Warrane’. He created a musical score for the segment and brought in long-time collaborator, Iva Davies, to perform a stunning rendition of Great Southern Land.

In 2022, William will once again be hands-on, creating and performing a hypnotic Australia Day Live opening segment combining exquisite virtual reality technology by Brett Leavy with performers on stage under the summer night sky playing to audience members. William will also guide the WugulOra Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo, one of the Australia Day program’s key opening ceremonial events.

DELTA GOODREM - Australia Day Live Co-Host

Delta Goodrem is an artist in the truest sense – bringing stories to life as a singer-songwriter, performer and actress and making giving back a focus in her life through philanthropy. Delta has achieved multi-platinum selling status with nine #1 singles, five #1 albums, 17 top 10 hits, 12 ARIA Awards, 3 World Music Awards and a Silver Logie Award. 

Delta’s first album, Innocent Eyes, was one of the highest-selling debut albums in Australian history. The album spent a record-breaking 29 weeks at #1 and Delta became the first-ever artist to have five #1 singles on the Australian charts from a debut album and she continues to provide a soundtrack to the lives of a generation of music fans. 

Delta's recently released album "Bridge Over Troubled Dreams” marks her fifth number 1 album with her highly anticipated Bridge Over Troubled Dreams arena Tour kicking off in March 2022.  

In 2020 the Delta Goodrem Foundation was launched which strives to spread kindness, hope and support for those facing illness, hardship and inequality. 

Delta performed at Australia Day Live 2021 and in 2022 she returns as a co-host and one of the headline performers. 

SHANE HOWARD – Australia Day Live performer/Solid Rock

Shane Howard has played for Prime Ministers, Aboriginal Elders, and environmental campaigners, from concert halls to protest sites and remote campfires. He's been a guest artist for Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, and Carole King.

His iconic song, ‘Solid Rock, Sacred Ground’, lit a fire for the rights of Aboriginal people in Australia 40 years ago. He's released 14 solo albums, three Goanna albums, a Two Songmen album with Neil Murray and featured in numerous compilations.

In 2016 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the performing arts.

CASEY DONOVAN – Australia Day Live host and performer

After a meteoric rise to fame at the age of 16, Casey became the youngest ever winner of Australian Idol in 2004. Over the last 17 years, Casey has made her mark not only as a musician, but also in the areas of stage, screen, presenting and writing.

Casey is a multi-award winner and nominee who hosted and performed at Australia Day Live in both 2020 and 2021. Casey is currently working on new music to be released in 2022 and a few more surprise announcements, including a return to musical theatre.

We look forward to Casey’s show-stopping performance and the energy she brings to being a concert host. “Music brings people together and is a way to unite community and move forward as a nation,” Casey says of her Australia Day Live involvement.

@caseydonovan88

ISAIAH FIREBRACE – Australia Day Live performer

Isaiah has an incredible story. He attended high school on the banks of the Murray River and went without food to fund the six hours of travel required to get to his singing lessons each Saturday. Despite the hardship experienced by so many First Nations people, Isaiah knew that one day he would be an international recording artist.

Over the past three and a half years, the talented teen has transformed from a smalltown singer to the most streamed First Nations pop artist in the world.

Along the way he’s won The X Factor, represented Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest (finishing in the top 10), and is signed to Sony Music Australia. Isaiah, a proud Yorta Yorta man, was part of Australia Day Live in 2020 and is making his return in 2022.

EMMA DONOVAN – Australia Day Live performer/ Solid Rock

Emma Donovan grew up singing church songs with her grandparents on the north coast of NSW.

She has toured and recorded with many of the mainstays of Indigenous music, from Archie Roach to Dan Sultan and was a leader of the Black Arm Band project.

It was in The Black Arm Band that Emma met members of The Putbacks and their journey together began.

ANDREW FARRISS – Australia Day Live performer

Andrew Farriss AM is considered one of the world’s most revered songwriters, having written, produced,
and performed music across the globe for more than four decades.

As the co-founder, key songwriter, keyboardist, guitarist and backing vocalist for the Grammy-nominated
and multi award-winning band INXS, Andrew is responsible for songs that have ingrained themselves into the psyche of generations of music fans.

Most recently, he embarked on his own country solo career, exploring stories of the heartland of Australia and America. In January 2020, Andrew was honoured with a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his contribution to the arts within Australia.

JON STEVENS – Australia Day Live performer

Jon Stevens is recognised as one of Australia’s most talented rock musicians. He has had phenomenal
success as a solo artist and was also the lead singer of major rock acts Noiseworks, INXS and Dead Daisies.

Stevens’ career has gone from strength-to-strength: a recordsmashing debut at age 16 with two consecutive No.1 singles in his New Zealand homeland. He also enjoyed huge hits in Australia as lead singer with Noiseworks.

MARK VINCENT – Australia Day Live performer

Singing from the age of 15, Mark Vincent has gone on to become one of Australia’s most beloved tenors, having released eight #1 ARIA Classical Crossover Albums, several Aria national chart releases, and having earned accolades both nationally and internationally.

Mark has been featured as special guest and performed together with International soprano Katherine Jenkins on her European tour, performing iconic venues including, The Royal Albert Hall in London. He performed with Britain’s Got Talent, multimillion selling artist, Susan Boyle at the BBC proms in Ireland. He has also toured and recorded with Australia’s leading lady of the theater, Marina Prior.

Mark will be doing his first national tour with The Australian Symphony Orchestra starting March this year. He’s sold over 500,000 No.1 albums in Australia and is about to release his 10th album with Sony Music.

JOSH PITERMAN – Australia Day Live performer

Josh Piterman was the most recent Phantom in the brilliant original West End Production in London, prior to the COVID shutdown. He was recently announced to return as Phantom in the upcoming Sydney Opera House season.

Josh is an established Australian musical theatre performer and classical crossover artist whose other credits include playing Gerry Goffin in Beautiful and lead roles in West Side Story, Cats, Blood Brothers and Hairspray.

KARI SINGERS

– For 10 years, the KARI singers have participated in the Australia Day Sydney program

KARI is a longstanding Community Partner of the Australia Day Council of NSW program, performing at significant events like the WugulOra morning ceremony and Australia Day Live. They joined the program in 2013 and share the Australia Day Council of NSW’s vision of establishing a forward thinking and inclusive agenda for our national day.

The KARI Foundation was established in 2017, with the support of KARI Limited. The aim of the KARI Foundation is to continue making positive change in the Aboriginal community by Aboriginal people, in new and innovative ways. 

KARI Foundation is an Australian not-for profit and an Aboriginal established organisation being led by approximately 80% Aboriginal employees.

KOOMURRI DANCERS – Australia Day Live and WugulOra performers

Koomurri delivers world-class performances, cultural workshops, art installations and team building programs to corporate, medium and small businesses; schools, pre-schools, colleges, and universities; governments, government departments and NGO’s; sporting bodies and clubs, the film, arts and modeling industries.

Koomurri are key to the WugulOra Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo and the Australia Day Live concert at the Sydney Opera House on Australia Day.

TRUE BLUE – Amber Lawrence, Kirsty Lee Akers, Aleyce Simmonds & Hayley Jensen

Multi-award-winning country artists Amber Lawrence, Kirsty Lee Akers, Aleyce Simmonds and Hayley Jensen will perform their all-female version of True Blue, an iconic national anthem alternative by the legendary John Williamson.

Released in July 2020 to honour and uplift our frontline workers both in health and emergency services, the song resonated quickly, hitting the top of the country charts, amassing over 1 million views on Facebook within two weeks and winning a Golden Guitar for ‘Vocal Collaboration of the Year’.

Originally recorded and released by Amber, Kirsty, Aleyce and Nashville based ex-pat Dianna Corcoran, due to COVID and travel restrictions, Hayley has graciously stepped in to fill Dianna’s shoes for this special Australia Day Live performance. View the video HERE

“What a nice surprise, who would have thought that True Blue could sound so sweet!” John Williamson

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