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
Los Angeles’ tenor saxophonist Kamasi Washington is returning to Sydney Opera House to perform his second album Heaven and Earth for the first time in Australia. The modern jazz visionary entered the charts in 2015 and since then he’s worked with Kendrick...Jazz Until Wednesday October 9 2019
Mort’s village runs to a tight schedule, and they never deviate from the monotonous plan. Except for one day when a young girl robot, Beep, falls from the sky. Her crash landing forces the town to reconsider their regimented life, and teaches them about...Music events Until Saturday July 20 2019
Junior Adventure Tour
Curious kids are invited to embark on a behind-the-scenes adventure that’ll reveal the Opera House’s deepest mysteries. Follow expert guides backstage to see how the magic of theatre comes together – participants will be shown secret stage markings, taught...Active events Until Sunday July 21 2019
Madama Butterfly review
You couldn’t accuse choreographer and director Graeme Murphy of having a shortage of ideas for his new production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. It’s Opera Australia’s first new mainstage version since Moffatt Oxenbould created the company’s definitive,...Until Saturday August 10 2019
Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts
You’re well acquainted with Cinderella and you’ve known Jack and the Beanstalk for years but you’ve never seen them like this before. Adapted from Roald Dahl’s poems Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts, Shake and Stir Theatre company will bring all your...Book events Until Sunday July 21 2019
Anna Bolena review
At first it seems an incongruous pairing: Donizetti’s elegant historical tragedy about the downfall of Anne Boleyn at the hands of King Henry VIII, and a tech-heavy digital production using 12 high-definition LED panels as sets. This is Opera Australia’s...Until Friday July 26 2019
Incredibly, it’s been almost a decade since Opera Australia last handed over the Joan Sutherland Theatre, its main performance venue, to a new opera. So after endless revivals of Madama Butterfly, La Bohème and Carmen, composer Elena Kats-Chernin and...Thursday July 18 2019 - Tuesday July 30 2019
You probably haven’t heard of Oriel Gray or The Torrents, but in 1955 it was the joint winner of the Playwrights’ Advisory Board Competition with Australia’s most famous play, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. It’s been rarely performed since the 1950s,...Drama Thursday July 18 2019 - Saturday August 24 2019
Things to do
An Evening with Michael Pollan
He was once focused on teaching the world how to eat for a healthy body, mind and planet, but now Michael Pollan has his mind on something else: drugs. LSD, to be precise. In his talk at the Sydney Opera House, he’ll be tackling the taboo and recounting...Talks and discussions Saturday July 20 2019
This new work from The Guardian commentator Van Badham is about a feminist academic called Ish (Amber McMahon) and a pick-up artist called Jake (Patrick Jhanur). They’re not exactly fans of one another, but when Jake falls in love with a Danish librarian...Drama Friday July 26 2019 - Saturday August 24 2019