Sydney Opera House to stream Max Richter’s 2016 performance of ‘Sleep’

Available for a limited 72 hour window

The Sydney Opera House will stream German composer Max Richter‘s eight hour long performance of ‘Sleep’, recorded at VIVID 2016, tonight (September 11).

Richter performed his composition with the six-piece American Contemporary Music Ensemble in an overnight performance in 2016, with attendees in sleeping bags around him.

The performance will begin streaming from 10pm AEST tonight, and will be available for a limited window of 72 hours – watch it below.


The music of ‘Sleep’ was created by Richter to emulate and aid a good night’s sleep, with advice from neuroscientist and author David Eagleman. In an essay posted to the Opera House’s website this week, Eagleman pointed to ‘Sleep’s renewed relevance in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Many people have had a difficult time getting adequate sleep during the febrile reign of COVID-19, so an exquisite soporific like Max’s could not be more important at this time,” he said.

“It’s only in the very rarified case of something like Max’s Sleep that a piece is sufficiently long, calm, and rhythmic to strike a synchrony with brain rhythms, entraining sleep and possibly deepening it.”

Richter released the composition as an album called ‘From Sleep’ in 2015, and shared an abridged remixed collection entitled ‘Sleep’ the following year. ‘Sleep’ has also been turned into an app, where users can personalise their listening for a sleep period, with planetary animations.


The Opera House stream is part of the iconic venue’s digital programming series, which kicked off earlier this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to streaming archival concerts from AirPanda BearJónsi and Alex Somers, among others, there have also been new, live-streamed performances filmed within the Opera House without an audience from the likes of Ziggy RamoGordi and Low Life.