Dr Edwina Throsby
Dr Edwina Throsby
Head of Talks & Ideas, Sydney Opera House
What does your role at the Opera House entail?
I am the Head of Talks & Ideas, which means that I program all of the amazing people who talk at the Opera House, as well as program the festivals All About Women and Antidote.
How do you research for new ideas?
I am always reading books, magazines, newspapers and online news sites, I follow lots of super-interesting people on social media and always have my eye out for what they're talking about and recommending, I listen to podcasts constantly, and I spend a huge amount of time exploring.
What are you most excited about that will be appearing this year?
The Antidote festival in September is going to be HUGE - I can't say too much until we finalise some contracts, but I could not be more excited about some of the speakers I'm lining up!
You just featured Brandon Stanton from Humans from New York, do you have a favourite story?
Brandon showed a great video as part of his talk in the Concert Hall, which showed a couple talking about why they weren't getting married - she really wanted to, he didn't - and while they were filming this another couple randomly got engaged in the background. The audience exploded with laughter - it was a great moment.
What are you most passionate about?
I really believe that good ideas shared in public have the potential to change the way people see the world, and this in turn can actually change the world. If I can program speakers that inspire people to agitate for change in their communities, or even just live their own lives better, then I'm happy.
What are you reading at the moment?
For me at the moment it's all about non-fiction. I'm obsessed with American politics, and Michael Wolf's "The Sound and the Fury", about the first year of the Trump administration, is a page-turner that reads like a soap opera. David Neiwert's brilliantly researched book "Alt America", about the rise of the far right in the US, is fascinating and terrifying. Kate Bolick's book "Spinster" is a beautiful exploration of what it means to be a single woman. And, for a dash of fiction, I've been burning through the wonderful Barbara Kingsolver's back-catalogue ... Oprah really was on the money when she endorsed "The Poisonwood Bible" .. I can't believe it took me so long to get to it.
Best perk of the job?
For me, a job that requires me to read lots, see lots of theatre, visit galleries regularly and go to multiple talks events, is a dream come true.