Cirque du Soleil

An insect love story ... Cirque du Soleil pulls the stops out. Photo: Supplied

From a saffron-robed, shaven-headed monks chanting Tibetan prayers to acrobatic insects flying through the sky, Sydney's arts calendar is blossoming with events in the next months.

At Parramatta's Riverside Theatres, mandalas will be distributed among guests at today's In the Moment concert, which features world musicians including Tibetan monk Lama Khedup and Tenzin Choegyal in the Sydney Sacred Music Festival. The month-long festival features devotional music from around the world, and aims to highlight the spiritual bonds between different cultures, director Richard Petkovic said.

At the opposite end of the artistic spectrum are the brawny ''boylesque'' performers of Oh Boy Oh Boy who will be artfully removing their clothes next Sunday as part of the Sydney Fringe, one of more than 250 shows in the month-long festival. There will be more family-friendly fare in the Big Top at Moore Park in Cirque du Soleil's new show Ovo, which opens on September 13.

Compresser Ladybug costume design Click for more photos

Cirque du soleil: Ovo

Compresser Ladybug costume design

A love story set in the insect world, Ovo features 54 performers dancing, juggling, contorting and flying through the air.

Sydney's season of operatic femme fatales continues with South Pacific's season extended, Madama Butterfly opening on September 20 and Lucia di Lammermoor a week later. Cheryl Barker, meanwhile, will play one of opera's greatest hussies in the title role of Salome in a new production that opens on October 12.

Lucy Durack plays a musical siren of another kind in Legally Blonde The Musical, which opens on October 4 at the Sydney Lyric.

The arts calendar for next year is also rapidly taking shape with the Australian Ballet and the Sydney Theatre Company announcing their 2013 seasons last week.

Outgoing artistic director Cate Blanchett will play a murderous sister alongside French actress Isabelle Huppert in an adaptation of Jean Genet's The Maids by her husband Andrew Upton and Benedict Andrews.

And it's not just Sydney rolling out the red carpet: Dubbo, a town better known for its zoo and old jail has been transformed into a cultural hub of world premieres and music acts. The inaugural Dubbo Film festival launched on Friday night with more than 400 people attending the screening of Mental, which stars Toni Collette., and yesterday, Verdi's La Traviata was bought to the big screen. Organisers expect 30,000 people to take part in the film and arts festival, which runs until September 30.