The New Year’s Eve Gala Opening Concert launched the 1979 Festival of Sydney with a dazzling array of talent on the Sydney Opera House forecourt including performances from Sherbert, John Paul Young and Johnny Farnham.


Festival Director: Stephen Hall

The New Year’s Eve Gala Opening Concert launched the 1979 Festival of Sydney with a dazzling array of talent on the Sydney Opera House forecourt including performances from Sherbert, John Paul Young and Johnny Farnham.

The Festival celebrated poetry with an array of events at Pitt Street Uniting Church including poetry readings and talks, occasionally with musical accompaniment. Music in all forms played Festival-wide, including the AGL Festival of Folk and Caltex Jazz Festival.

Russian opera came to Australia with the stars of the Bolshoi Opera, and international puppetry with Fukien Puppet Group from China and Puk Puppet Theatre from Japan.

The sporting program remained strong, with the Benson & Hedges Showjumping Championships, yachting, bowls competitions, cycle races, the Soapbox Derby, and a tug-of-war competition in Hyde Park.


Choral/Orchestral Concert
St Philip's Chamber Orchestra
Conductor: Michael Dyer
Tenor: Ronald Down

Harp, Flute, Soprano and Poetry Reading
Harp: June Loney
Flute: Gioconda Auginer
Soprano: Claire Ford
Viola: Leonie Cains

Vocal Music from the 17th and 18th Centuries
Soprano: Jane Dewitt
Contralto: Cathryn Capewell
Tenor: John Stewart
Bass: June Wickham

Lunchtime Recitals
Exponent Brass Quintet, Matvey Krel (accordionist), Mico Consort of Viols, Consort of Sydney, Fontegara Ensemble, The Kyngs Minstrels, Murray Khouri Trio, Chamber Choir of Sydney Uni, Australian Brass and Woodwind

AGL Festival of Folklife
Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, Bushwackers and Larrikins, Margaret Roadknight in Concert, Irish Hooley, Black Out!, Vin Garbutt. Eric Bogle, Bernard Bolan, Little Brother Montgomery, Davey Graham, Papau New Guinea Raun Raun Theatre

Caltex Jazz Festival
Jazz Quartet USA, George Golla, Don Andrews, Peter Boothman, Steve Murphy, John Connely, David Levy, Ray Martin, Barry Woods, David Liebman, Mike Nock All Stars, International Jam Session

An Evening Of Choirs

Lunchtime Organ Recital
Peter Bray, Gordon Webb & Ensemble

Outdoor Concerts
Martin Place, Hyde Park, Macquarie Place, Sydney Square


London Early Music Group

The Seymour Group

Early Classical Music

Music Of The Moment

Rock Dancers

Spontaneous Music


Albert Herring
Australian Opera
Conductor: William Reid

Australian Opera
Conductor: Carlo Felice Cillano

Stars of the Bolshoi Opera
Australian Opera
Director: Oleg Moralev
Conductor: Fuat Mansurov
Baritones: Alexander Vorshilo, Michail Maslov
Sopranos: Galina Kalinina, Nina Fornina
Tenor: Lev Kusnetzov
Mezzo Soprano: Nina Terentieva
Bass: Boris Morozov


Busy Bodies

Contemporary Dance Theatre

Dance Company

Dance Exchange


Melbourne State Dance Theatre

One Extra Dance Group


Actors Company

A Midsummer Night's Dream
PACT Theatre

Bedroom Farce
New England Travelling Playhouse

Berlin To The Blackstump
269 Playhouse


Festival of Sydney Playwrights with Ensemble Theatre:
How Sleep The Brave
Dancing Partners and Animal-Vegetable-Mineral

Flesh and Blood
Ensemble Theatre

Fukien Puppet Group

Impromptus for Leisure

Nimrod Theatre

Paradise Depression Style
Actors Company

Puk Puppet Theatre

Reedy River
New Theatre

Sleeping Beauty

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves


Strap Me Vitals!

The Bed Before Yesterday
MLC Theatre Royal Company

The Common Room

The Happiest Days of Your Life
Genesian Theatre Company

The Mysterious Potamus
Marionette Theatre

The New Adventures of Pinocchio

The Rose Without A Thorn
Darlinghurst Players Theatre

The Spellbuster
PACT Theatre

The Travelling Jungle Doctor Show

Thoughts of Chairman Alf

Treasure Island
Nimrod Theatre


Late Afternoon Readings

Lunchtime Readings

Night of Dada

Poetry of Dissent

Poets and Personalities
Chaired by the Lord Mayor

Poets and Politicians
Chaired by the Town Clerk

Poets Corner

Poets Union


Balinese Surfer/Balinese Visions/Tamu

Films for Children

The Battle of Chile


Art Lark In the Park

Australia Day

BP Disco Party

Chinese New Year

Darlinghurst Fiesta

Festival Food and Wine Frolic

Festival Parade Sydney Talks Back

Medieval Fair

Music of the World's Peoples

New Year's Eve Gala Opening Concert
Galapagos Duck, The Anne Kirkpatrick Band, The Young Northside Big Band, Sharaba, The Dancin' Machine, Colleen Hewett, Johnny Farnham, Jenny Howard, Kevin Borich Express, St George Sutherland Scottish Pipe Band, Sherbet, John Paul Young, Soul Construction

Smiths Crisps' Mardi Gras

Surry Hills Fiesta

Sydney Theatre Critics Awards

Traditional Rocks Celebrations


30 Square Metre Club

Abbotsford 12ft Skiffs


All Historic Racing

Ampol Champion of Masters Bowls Singles

Australian Junior Chess League Championships

Australian Open Chess Championships

Balmain and District Flying Squadron

Benson and Hedges Showjumping Championships

Chess Marathon

Double Bay Sailing Club

Drummoyne Juniors

Dry Regatta

Frisco Sailing Club

Grand Prix Cycle Race

Greenwich Flying Squadron

Hunters Hill SC

KB International Games

Lane Cove River SC

Manly 12ft Skiffs

NSW 18ft Sailing League

NSW Trotting Club's Summer Carnival

Parramatta River Regatta

Royal Sydney Anniversary Regatta

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron

Soapbox Derby

Sun Surf Carnival

Sydney Amateur SC

Sydney Flying Squadron

Sydney Turf Club Race Meetings

Tattersalls Race Meeting

TS 16 Sailing Marathon

Tug-of-war Competition

Vaucluse 12ft Skiffs

Vintage Car Rally

Yngling Association


Children's Music Workshop

Children's Dance and Drama Workshop

Children's Art and Craft Workshop

Making Melanesian Artefacts


Kite Flying Finals

Rostrum Effective Speaking Finals


3rd World in Focus

1979 Lilium Show

1979 Summer Exhibition

Aboriginal Bark Paintings and Carvings

Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Competition

Architectural Awards Art in the Community

Art in the Gardens

As We Were: Portraits and Landscapes

A Tribute To Sydney Lloyd Rees

Australian Pottery 1900-1950

Bones From My Body

Books and Beyond


Contemporary Australian Tapestry

Ethnic Sculptors' Exhibition

Exhibition of Model Trains

History Through Photographs

International and Local Kite Display

Lithographs from the Collection

Oenpell Paintings

Performing Arts Stamp Exhibition

Photographic Art in Limited Edition

Photography - A Professional Approach

Photography in the Park

Photography Week

Polaroid "Auto-Portraits"

Police Around The World

Project 28 - Ken Unsworth

Salute to Sydney

Sir Joseph Banks: Father of Australia

Sydney: City Of Hope

Sydney County Council Art Exhibition

Sydney Morning Herald Art Prize and Scholarship

The Alan Renshaw Bequest

The Sydney Craftsman

Treasures from the Nicholson Museum

Twice Festive Sydney

What Is A Child?


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