Sydney Opera House goes digital amid virus

The Sydney Opera House's online program will start with a Missy Higgins performance.
The Sydney Opera House's online program will start with a Missy Higgins performance.

Australians can watch Sydney Opera House performances from their own homes as the iconic performance venue goes digital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full-length performances, talks, never-before-seen footage from the venue's archives and behind-the-scenes content will be available on the Sydney Opera House website while the venue's doors are closed because of coronavirus.

New content will be released weekly on the Opera House website as part of its digital season which will enable people to simultaneously watch performances together.

Programming director Fiona Winning said the Opera House played an important role in bringing the community together - especially now as people are being urged to stay home to limit COVID-19's spread.

"We think now more than ever audiences and people want to be inspired and connected," Ms Winning told AAP on Tuesday.

"People can tune in together and watch a bunch of different things."

The online program will on Wednesday kick off with a Missy Higgins 2019 performance followed by a talk with American writer Chanel Miller and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's 2018 performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

Sydney Opera House chief executive Louise Herron hopes the new digital program will connect and comfort people.

"While we cannot welcome audiences to live performances in our venues, we are committed to offering the best in arts, culture and entertainment, as we have since opening in 1973," Ms Herron said in a statement.

Free digital content including podcasts will also be available on demand on the Opera House website.

Australian Associated Press