As museums, galleries and zoos were forced to close their doors earlier this year, many took the opportunity to pivot to online tours and performances. Here’s a list of some of the most interesting and entertaining virtual cultural experiences that you can enjoy from home. 

Sydney Opera House: From Our House to Yours

The iconic Sydney performing arts centre is releasing live broadcasts, archival footage and premieres every week from Thursday to Sunday. So, you can watch incredible music and performance plus fascinating talks from the comfort of your own home. 

The Australian Ballet: Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake

“Graeme Murphy’s masterpiece is a Swan Lake for the 21st century, charged with sensuality and heartbreak. The Australian Ballet’s most performed and most successful work has swept the world before it, reaping standing ovations and storms of tears in London, Paris, Tokyo and New York.”

Ólafur Arnalds – Live at Sydney Opera House

“Iceland’s BAFTA Award-winning pianist-composer Ólafur Arnalds leads the Sydney Chamber Orchestra arranged by Viktor Orri Árnason in a specially-commissioned performance two years in the making.”

And the kids haven’t been forgotten either! For the young—or for the young at heart.

“Dress up, dance and sing along with The Wiggles! Join Emma, Lachy, Simon and Anthony as they shimmy, shake and wiggle onto our stage! In this exclusive performance at Sydney Opera House, The Wiggles will perform their brand new single “Social Distancing”, along with some of their much-loved greatest hits.”

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History 

Over the seas, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has a range of virtual tours of permanent and current exhibitions as well as past exhibitions. There’s also some excellent behind the scenes looks at the museums research areas and collections.

National Gallery Victoria

The NGV is keeping fans connected with their collections and exhibitions through a series of virtual tours.

Some highlights include MARKING TIME: INDIGENOUS ART FROM THE NGV which ‘explores drawings and markings of figures, signs or text made on public surfaces across Indigenous Australia, from rock face to now.’

And COLLECTING COMME which delves into the work of Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, one of the world’s most influential fashion designers.

In addition to virtual tours, the NGV has released a number of art-inspired performances with Orchestra Victoria including Debussy’s Syrinx in the Salon Gallery.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Parks Australia has created several virtual tours of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park that offer incredible 360-degree views of one of the most beautiful parts of the country. You can hear the sounds of these remarkable places and listen to the traditional owners— the Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara people—share their cultural knowledge and stories.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

The MSO has launched an online concert series, with fortnightly performances streaming on their YouTube channel. Follow their channel and stay up to date with what their planning.

But in the meantime, here’s a couple of the performances they have released so far:

“Filmed in February 2020, this performance features Beethoven’s monumental Ninth Symphony, physically embodied by Circa Contemporary Circus, directed by Yaron Lifschitz. This revolutionary staging of Beethoven’s most famous work was performed alongside an MSO Commission, and World Premiere performance, of Deborah Cheetham AO’s ‘Dutala, star filled sky’, a a work created in response to Beethoven’s Ninth.”

Reef Cam

The Nature Conservatory has Reef Cam, the first rocky-reef live feed in Australia. The project includes both under and over water web cams that are in Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay. A real-life reality show with some very interesting characters!

The web cam is solar powered, so it only operates during daylight house. However, when the webcams are offline, a pre-recording is shown.


Above water

Zoos Victoria

Who wouldn’t want to watch the daytime adventures of penguins or the fun times had by meerkats. Zoos Victoria’s Animals at Home program not only provides fascinating insights into the day-to-day lives of these animals, but also a range of keeper talks.

Ready to read more? Try these Inform links:

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