Opera – Faust
They say you shouldn’t do a deal with the devil, in case it costs your soul. Opera Australia presents Faust, an epic three-hour drama in French depicting this very battle. Set in 1870s Paris, a young Faust bargains away his future until his future begins to crumble. The show stars one of the best-known actors on the Australian operatic stage, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, as the great satanic tempter Mephistopheles. There are just eight performances of this opera over the next month; otherwise you might have to wait another five years.
Until March 11, Sydney Opera House, $79, sydneyoperahouse.com
Theatre – Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam
This play is based on Australian author Peter Goldsworthy’s 1993 novella. Riverside Theatre hosted the world premiere in 2018 and Belvoir St Theatre is bringing it to life on the stage this years. Directed by Darren Yap, the performance is a haunting story about loss, grief and family. Parents Linda and Rick Pollard’s world is turned upside down when their daughter is diagnosed with leukemia. Bring a pack of tissues as it could be a tear-jerker.
Until March 8, Belvoir St Theatre, Surry Hills, $73+, belvoir.com.au
Music – Sunset Sessions
As summer begins to wind down, make the most of the warm evenings and long twilight by attending Sunset Sessions. Held on Cockatoo Island, the performance features up-and-coming artists across a range of genres. It’s also a great chance to see Sydney Harbour from a different vantage point. Bring a picnic rug or a camping chair, grab your Opal card and jump on a ferry. There are just four Saturday night concerts remaining until the season finishes on March 28.
Next Saturday, 5-8pm, $30, cockatooisland.gov.au
Theatre – Jekyll and Hyde
Castle Hill Players opens its 2020 season with a stage adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The cast has been rehearsing all summer to bring the tale to life. Dr Jekyll, the respected scientist, gets sick of being boring so he concocts a formula to let loose his wild side. Instead of driving, why not catch Sydney’s new metro train and enjoy all that the Hills District has to offer.
Until February 22, Pavilion Theatre, Castle Hill, $30, paviliontheatre.org.au
Art – Bushfire fundraiser
As well as months of deadly bushfires and choking smoke, this summer has seen endless acts of generosity with musicians, sports stars and corporations uniting to donate to help those affected by the crisis. You can throw artists into the mix, too, because 50 of Australia’s creatives, including Ben Quilty and Fiona Lowry, are holding a bushfire relief art auction fundraiser with all proceeds generously donated to three charities. The silent auction is already under way, so even if you can’t make it on the night you can still bid online.
February 12, 7-10pm, National Art School, Darlinghurst, entry by donation, nas.edu.au
Food – Towradgi Food Festival
Following the bushfires that have ravaged much of regional NSW, tourism authorities have been urging people to visit affected regions and spend money to boost local economies. Well, here’s one opportunity: the Towradgi Beer, Food and Wine Festival which offers a great opportunity to sample the Illawarra’s finest produce. There’s also live music and kids’ activities to keep everyone entertained. And it’s less than 90 minutes’ drive from the Sydney CBD.
Sunday, 11am-5pm, Towradgi Beach Hotel, free, towradgibeachhotel.com.au
Josh Dye is a news reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.