One of the most photographed and famous (if controversial) performing arts venues in the world
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.
With access into areas normally reserved for stars and their minders, this tour will have you treading the boards of its illustrious stages and sneaking into the dressing rooms of the Concert Hall, Opera and Drama Theatres, Playhouse and The Studio, while you are regaled with the secrets and stories that go on behind the curtain. Or perhaps you want to take on the conductor's baton in the Opera Theatre orchestra pit?
Backstage tours run daily at 7am and are $165, including a hearty breakfast served in the Green Room (the Green Room is not open on Sun or public holidays). Flat, enclosed rubber soled shoes must be worn. For safety reasons children 12 years and under are not permitted. Bookings essential. There are also junior tours of the Opera House for kids.
|Venue name:||Sydney Opera House|
|Opening hours:||Box office: Mon-Sat 9am-8.30pm; Sun two hours prior to performance (in person only)|
Pick a date
Christina Bianco: O Come All Ye Divas
In 2013, Christina Bianco uploaded a video of herself performing Bonnie Tyler's 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' as 18 different divas at New York's 54 Below cabaret club. The YouTube clip soon attracted the attention of TV super producer Shonda Rhimes, who...Until Saturday December 15 2018
A Cheery Soul review
Patrick White saw through all of our empty social kindness decades ago. His 1963 play A Cheery Soul, set in a fictional 1950s Sydney suburb that’s all repression and politeness, blows up all the myths we might have then possessed – and still possess even...Drama Until Saturday December 15 2018
Things to do
Sunrise on the Steps
Sydney Opera House is bringing back its popular morning yoga classes on the outside steps of the landmark building. The 60-minute classes take place on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays with views of the Botanic Gardens and Sydney Harbour. And, for the...Classes and workshops Until Saturday December 15 2018
Kitty Flanagan: Smashing
Ask yourself honestly, in your heart of hearts: are you good at sex? Kitty Flanagan isn’t. “The only reason I know is that somebody told me,” she says. “At least I’m well aware. There are probably heaps of people walking around being terrible at sex and...Stand Up Saturday December 15 2018
Storytime Ballet: Coppélia
This comic ballet isn’t traditionally performed for crowds of tutu-clad children, but this rendition of Coppélia will delight kids aged three and up. The recital runs for just under one hour, with magic tricks, colourful costumes, toys and friendly...Wednesday December 19 2018 - Saturday January 5 2019
The Illusionists: Direct From Broadway
It's now become an annual tradition that producer Simon Painter brings one of his big, flashy, Vegas-style shows to the Opera House for the Christmas school holidays. He’s given us Circus 1903 and last year’s The Unbelievables, but his most popular franchise...Circuses Wednesday December 19 2018 - Saturday December 29 2018
Things to do
New Year’s Eve with Opera Australia
At the pinnacle of glamorous New Year’s Eve celebrations is the Opera Australia event – an evening of fine dining, arias and operettas, bookended by a view of the midnight fireworks from Sydney’s best vantage point. There are three ticketing options:...Food and drink Monday December 31 2018
Powerhouse combo director Gale Edwards and designer Brian Thomson (HOSH's Carmen) created this production for Opera Australia's 2011 season – and it has proved a popular hit. Some love La bohème, some loathe it – but there's no doubt that there's plenty...Monday December 31 2018 - Thursday March 28 2019
The 91-Storey Treehouse
At this live storytelling event, Andy Griffiths’ and Terry Denton’s best-selling book, The 91-Storey Treehouse, will come to life with another 13 wacky levels added to the funny structure in the internationally renowned Treehouse children's book series....Book events Thursday January 3 2019 - Sunday January 20 2019
Blanc de Blanc Encore
If you're not a wine connoisseur, you mightn't know that this show is named after a kind of champagne made entirely from chardonnay grapes. And it's an entirely appropriate name for a show made for adults only that's a bit fancy, a bit bubbly and super...Friday January 4 2019 - Saturday March 9 2019