Get us in your inbox

Gennadi Dubinsky portrait composite before and after for Opera Australia’s Force of Destiny 2013 Behind the Scenes feature shot by Daniel Boud (c) Time Out Sydney EXTENDED
Photograph: Daniel BoudOpera Australia bass Gennadi Dubinsky is transformed for his role in Opera Australia’s 2013 production of The Force of Destiny

You can buy a role in an Opera Australia production

Written by
Dee Jefferson

Yes, for real – we've heard of cultural tourism, but not quite at this level: for $4999, you can purchase a walk-on role in one of three Opera Australia production: La Bohème, La Traviata and Carmen.

What does this mean? It means you get to be on stage at the opera house, in full hair, make-up and costume, amongst the professional performers, in front of 1500 people. In an opera. But you will not be singing, or indeed speaking. The role being sold is described on the Opera Australia site as: "The participant is on stage with the chorus, but does not sing. [The] participant will be on stage only when the chorus is performing. This will likely be around 1 hour. Exact timing is subject to change."

The Opera Australia site also points out that "not all opera productions are suitable for a walk-on role", and that these particular productions have been picked on the basis that they are ones where it's "possible to have a walk-on role."

The other key rules are you have to be at least 16 years old, and you must be "able to walk up and down stairs and on a sloped stage".

The idea of buying a walk-on role is not new, though it's more typical in TV and film, in America, and in relation to charity or fundraising for independent productions. So this seems like a pretty big deal for one of Australia's major performing arts companies.

Found out about this "diva" experience here.

There are also less expensive ways to get involved in Sydney's culture: read more about our 52 Weeks of #SydCulture challenge.

Latest news