The Sydney WorldPride arts calendar is heating up, with the sensational Reuben Kaye set to make his Opera House debut as the host of Opera Up Late. This bespoke collaboration between WorldPride and Opera Australia incorporates two exclusive performances on 18 and 23 February 2023.

Directed by the award-winning Shaun Rennie, Opera Up Late is a grand collision of opera and cabaret. It promises audiences a wildly entertaining night of queer romance, drag and the world’s most famous opera arias.

As the name suggests, performances begin at 11:00pm. This gives audiences a rare late-night peek beneath the city’s famous sails. Stars include talented artists from Opera Australia such as Australian tenors Tomas Dalton and Benjamin Rasheed, mezzo-soprano Angela Hogan and soprano Cathy-Di Zhang, as well as musical theatre’s rising star Annie Aitken. Music direction is provided by Opera Australia’s Chorus Master Paul Fitzsimon.

Renowned for presenting brutally funny shows, Reuben Kaye is a multi-award-winning Australian comedian, singer and writer. He has cemented himself as one of the biggest names in comedy and cabaret both locally and internationally. In the process, he has also accrued a massive following on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram.

Opera Up Late Reuben Kaye
Photo credit: Daniel Boud

Kaye matches his subversive comedy and quick wit with his stunning vocal range. He notes how his own love of opera has inspired him throughout his life.

“Ever since I first forced my parents to watch me re-enact the final scenes of Carmen in full costume at 8 years old in the living room I have dreamed of this moment. And I plan to approach it with just as much subtlety, dignity and restraint,” says Kaye.

The acclaimed Shaun Rennie will direct this high-octane blend of cabaret and gala concert in what he says will be no regular night at the opera.

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“I am thrilled to work with Opera Australia and Sydney WorldPride to create a night that celebrates opera and other great musical anthems through a queer lens, as well as celebrating the exceptional queer talent on stage,” says Rennie.

“The hilarious and outrageously talented Reuben Kaye will set the tone perfectly for these performances. It will be, without a doubt, a brilliant night out!”

Opera Up Late shines a light on the extraordinary talent that the queer community brings to the national company, Opera Australia and the iconic Sydney Opera House. What better time for this than when Sydney WorldPride takes over the city in 2023!

  • Performance information: Evenings at 11.00pm on Feb 18 & 23, 2023
  • Where: Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
  • Running time: Approximately 1 hour with no interval
  • Bookings: Adult tickets from $69 (fees may apply)