Premiere performance celebrates The Balnaves Foundation Open House Program –

– Tickets to May Gibbs’ classic and other family-friendly shows at the Opera House available
for just $5 to disadvantaged families –

Sydney – Saturday, 27 June, 2015: Well-known personalities from across TV, fashion and music came together with families at the Sydney Opera House today to mark the world premiere performance of the Australian children’s classic Snugglepot & Cuddlepie.

A full video news release with footage from the performance and celebration event is available to download here. Photography is available here.

This contemporary adaptation of May Gibbs’ childhood stories is the latest show to be made available through a partnership between the Opera House and The Balnaves Foundation designed to help more people enjoy the performing arts. Over the next three years, The Balnaves Foundation Open House Program will give thousands of socially and economically disadvantaged adults and children the opportunity to attend family-friendly shows at the country’s premier cultural venue.

Almost 100 years since they were created, Gibbs’ much-loved Gumnut Babies were brought to life on the Playhouse stage for the first time at the Opera House today. Brothers Snugglepot and Cuddlepie are joined by friends Little Ragged Blossom, Professor Kookaburra and the creatures of the Australian bush in this beautiful new production.

Founder of The Balnaves Foundation, Neil Balnaves AO said: “Snugglepot & Cuddlepie is a quintessentially Australian classic, loved by people of all ages. We are thrilled that through our Open House Program we are making this world premiere production available to people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to see it. We are committed to making the arts and the Opera House available to everyone, regardless of their circumstances. So it’s exciting that more families will have the chance to experience this beautiful show over the coming weeks as a result of this important initiative.”

Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM said that since launching the initiative at the end of last year the response from community organisations and families had been overwhelming: “This is the fifth show made available through the Open House program. This partnership brings to life our belief that the Opera House belongs to everyone. We are very grateful to The Balnaves Foundation for its vision in working with us so that more families can enjoy performances at the Opera House.”

After today’s world premiere, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie will be on stage at the Opera House until 12 July 2015, before touring nationally next year, coinciding with the Gumnut Babies’ 2016 centenary.

To find out more about how The Balnaves Foundation Open House Program is helping more families to enjoy performances at the Opera House, watch a new short film here.

For further media information, please contact:
Jess Gooch, Communications Manager, Sydney Opera House
+61 2 9250 7428 | +61 415 403 135 | jgooch@sydneyoperahouse.com

The Balnaves Foundation Open House Program – How To Book
To purchase $5 tickets to Snugglepot & Cuddlepie or any other upcoming performances available through The Balnaves Foundation Open House program visit www.sydneyoperahouse.com/balnaves or call 02 9250 7799.

The program is available to holders of a Federal Government Health Care Card (including the Low Income Health Care Card). Proof of this card must be shown to staff upon collection of tickets at the Opera House Box Office.

Sydney Opera House
The Opera House is a masterpiece that belongs to all Australians. One of the world’s most recognised and celebrated buildings, it contributes significantly to the cultural life of the city. The World Heritage-listed Opera House welcomes more than 8.2 million visitors on site every year and hosts more than 1,700 performances attended by 1.4 million people. It is one of the world’s busiest cultural precincts.