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Sydney Opera House
This Australian icon sits on Bennelong Point and is Sydney’s premiere venue for classical and contemporary music, opera, theatre and dance. As peaceful as it looks now, the House had a controversial beginning: while it was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, by the time the building was completed in 1973 its architect had been fired. Many have pondered the building’s design over the years, comparing it variously to shells, waves and even a family of swans. Utzon never revealed his vision, only that it involved spheres. The Opera House offers different tours that allow you to get intimate with the building, including some hosted in different languages and full ‘experience' packages. If you don't feel like shelling out, it's still free to sit on the steps for a quick lunch and walk by the water and gaze in marvel at those 1,056,000 pearly, self-cleaning Swedish tiles. Where to eat and drink near Sydney Opera House For the ultimate Opera House dining experience, book a pre-theatre dinner at Bennelong, or just pop in for a drink and a snack at the raw and cultured bar. Check out the Opera Kitchen, a harbourfront dining area that features a host of Sydney food identities including John Susman. Meander around to Bulletin Place for cocktails. Later in the evening kick the glamour up a notch at Hemmesphere and enjoy matched cigars and more cocktails into the morning. Backstage tour With access into areas normally reserved for stars and their minders, this tour will have y
Sydney Theatre Company
It’s Andrew’s final season, so one might expect him to throw caution to the winds and get some wish-list i tems out of the way. Overall it’s a rather demure season as far as Big Names, with the exception of Rose Byrne, who will be fronting Andrew’s production of David Mamet’sSpeed-the-Plow. But there’s plenty of top shelf local thesp talent – like Robyn Nevin, Sarah Peirse and Helen Thomson; and there are actors made popular on screen returning to the STC stage – including Lisa McCune, Ryan Corr, John Howard and Lachy Hulme. But there's no William Hurt, Phillip Seymour Hoffman or Steven Soderbergh. And we’ll miss Hugo, Rox and Cate. The big international star of the season is British director Rupert Goold (Enron, Macbeth), now artistic director of London’s Almeida Theatre. He’ll be bringing his hit West End production of Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III to Sydney. Also heading down under from the UK are 1927, with their take on the Golem myth. For an Australian classic, we get Louis Nowra’s Golden Age; for new work, there are premieres by Sue Smith (Kryptonite), Angela Betzien (The Dark Room), and a portmanteau of new works by emerging playwrights Melissa Bubnic, Michele Lee, Nakkiah Lui and Debra Thomas – with a fifth from veteran Hannie Rayson. The Secret River, arguably Cate and Andrew’s greatest programming achievement in their tenure, returns. For new international work: besides King Charles III from the UK, Upton is bringing Pulitzer Prize winner Disgraced, from the
Belvoir St Theatre
This once shabby tomato sauce factory is now the entirely respectable Belvoir St Theatre, home of company Belvoir, which stages productions in its intimate 350-seat Upstairs Theatre and its more intimate 80-seat Downstairs Theatre.
Each year this western Sydney cultural hub hosts an exciting programme of theatre, dance, opera, circus, musicals and solo shows. The theatre is also a NT Live screening venue, so throughout the year you can catch London's National Theatre productions screened live in HD. Visit the Riverside Theatres website for the full 2014 program.
Worth visiting for the space alone, Carriageworks is the latest incarnation of the Eveleigh Rail Yards. Built in the 1880s, its cavernous interiors are faithfully preserved, giving it a limitlessness very different from the plush cocoons of most theatres. With a program of large-scale theatre, dance and installation works, and as a host of the experimental and cross-disciplinary theatre company Performance Space, Sydney Chamber Opera and Moogahlin Performing Arts, Carriageworks is gaining a reputation as the venue for the most progressive Sydney drama, dance and art.
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Here's what it's like to try opera for the first time
Opera is one of our most revered forms of culture. But with great reputation comes a high intimidation-factor. At Time Out, we’re lucky enough to have seen plenty of operas, so we know it’s not all valkyries in horned helmets and heavy breast armour. But we also know not everyone has been so lucky. Like Shakespeare, The Iliad and The Odyssey or Jane Austen, opera has worked itself so deeply into our pop-cultural imaginations that most of us can probably recognise Bizet’s ‘Habanera’ aria, or the twisty plotting of Cosi Fan Tutte without necessarily knowing where it came from. Given this sense of familiarity, we figured that for most people, seeing a famous opera for the first time will feel more like reconnecting with an old friend than meeting someone new. To test the theory, we gathered together four young creative types, with very different backgrounds, from three different cities, with one thing in common: they’d never been to the opera as an adult. We brought them all to Sydney for Opera Australia’s production of Puccini’s La Boheme and filmed the results. Melburnian Ali Barter may make grungy guitar pop now, but the Girlie Bits singer is also a classically trained soprano. As a kid, she’d actually appeared on stage in an opera, but she’d never seen one performed before. “I imagine I’m going to be blown away by their technical ability,” she told us before the show. True to her word, she came out impressed. “Just their breathing ability… it was incredible. Now I kn
At the first sign of summer in Sydney we’re on the look out for a place to kick back with a couple of friends, cocktail in hand, and views of our beautiful harbour. The Star's Sky Terrace has one of the most impressive views in the city, from the Harbour Bridge to the skyscrapers, and it’s open every weekend until March. From Friday nights to Sunday sessions, you’ll find DJs playing a soundtrack to your summer. This year, they have pop-up bars from Heineken, Grey Goose, Country Club Tequila and Tanquery Gin, so no matter what your tipple there’ll be a cocktail list to match your mood. There’s also giant jenga and foosball – perfect for a Sunday arvo catch-up. Peckish? You can choose from a range of casual dining fare including: lobster rolls with crisps, philly cheese steak, brie and jalapeno quesadillas and more.
Ten dishes you have to eat on The Streets of Barangaroo
For years the waterfront north of Darling Harbour was home to, well, not much. You might exit right at the King Street ferry and plunge into the tourist morass therein. Exit left nowadays and you’ll find yourself in, arguably, Sydney’s best dining district. Midweek, The Streets of Barangaroo hum with the CBD’s lunching masses. At the weekend, Wynyard Station deposits foodies at the doorstep of this hub of outposts from Sydney’s top restaurants. Today, cult eats right on the water’s edge – from Spanish to Vietnamese cuisine, Louisiana-style barbecue to sushi, bakeries, gelaterias, cocktail bars and coffee shops – woo you in. The precinct’s plan to create a place where you can work, eat, shop, live and play all within a few hundred metres along Sydney’s glittering harbour edge has coalesced into buzzing reality. And you have to taste it.
Blue Mountains City Art Gallery presents Landmarks, a major contemporary exhibition featuring works by some of the world's most prominent land and environmental artists. Landmarks features work by some of the most significant artists of the late 20th and early 21st century, including Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Simryn Gill, Andy Goldsworthy, Andreas Gursky, Richard Long, Perejaume, Imants Tillers, and internationally renowned Blue Mountains artists Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, who contributed a brand new commission titled 'The Ugly Stick Orchestra'. Drawing upon the John Kaldor Family Collection at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Landmarks is an important exhibition developed in partnership with the Art Gallery of New South Wales for the fifth anniversary of the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, an outstanding regional gallery and a visitor drawcard of increasing importance.