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||Contact:|
|Opening hours:||Box office: Mon-Sat 9am-8.30pm; Sun two hours prior to performance (in person only)|
Pick a dateto
My Fair Lady
To celebrate Opera Australia’s 60th anniversary, Dame Julie Andrews is directing a 60th anniversary production of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's musical My Fair Lady, which debuted on Broadway in 1956 with a 21-year-old Andrews playing Eliza Doolittle. A...Musicals Tuesday August 30 2016 - Saturday November 5 2016Read more
Horses in the Sky
Inspired by (and named after) a song by Canadian alt-rockers A Silver Mt. Zion, this new work by Israel’s Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company is described by artistic director and choreographer Rami Be’er as “bringing together dreams and a sense of impending...Wednesday August 31 2016 - Saturday September 3 2016Read more
Things to do
Festival of Dangerous Ideas
Sydney Opera House hosts 24 individual talks and 12 panel sessions over the two-day festival covering four major themes: Disappearing Countries, Dealing in Death, Disruptive Behaviour and Dirty Politics. Read our interview with Festival of Dangerous...Fairs and festivals Saturday September 3 2016 - Sunday September 4 2016Read more
Things to do
In collaboration with Bell Shakespeare and commemorating Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, FODI (Festival of Dangerous Ideas) presents Mercy – a panel and performance inspired by the iconic playwright’s The Merchant of Venice. In a reimagination of the...Talks and discussions Sunday September 4 2016Read more
Our interview with beloved UK-comedian Alan Carr starts when the subject enquires with genuine interest, “are you well, my love?” – an appropriate opener from the host of a TV talk show called Chatty Man. Carr’s on-screen and on-stage persona is one...Stand Up Tuesday September 6 2016 - Wednesday September 7 2016Read more
Just for Laughs
Now in its 6th year, Just For Laughs is become a comedy fixture for Sydney, bringing big names down under. After last year's Brit invasion, this year's line-up is looking a bit more balanced: so far, the three major names on the bill are South African-born...Stand Up Tuesday September 6 2016 - Sunday September 11 2016Read more
In her 2015 show, Cho delivers fewer out-loud-laughs and more anger and food for thought, as she talks about losing her 'comedy father' Robin Wiliams and her 'comedy mother' Joan Rivers, and turns her tongue against racism and violence against women. Margaret...Stand Up Friday September 9 2016Read more
Just For Laughs All-Star Gala
This night does what it says on the packet, with past comedy superstars to grace the stage have included John Cleese, Eddie Izzard, Louis CK, Bill Burr, Noel Fielding, Martin Short and Margaret Cho. This year's Gala is hosted by Judith Lucy and will...Stand Up Saturday September 10 2016Read more
Rhys Darby and Friends
In Australia for the Melbourne filming of the Comedy Channel's location iteration of Whose Line Is It Anyway, LA-based New Zealander Rhys Darby is popping up to Sydney to do a little stand-up at the Opera House. We're hoping the "friends" he's bringing...Stand Up Saturday September 10 2016Read more
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Having tackled Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet for Sydney Theatre Company, Helpmann Award-winning young director Kip Williams (Suddenly Last Summer) is taking on Shakespeare’s enchantment-laced comedy of mistaken identities, mis-direction and unrequited...Comedy Monday September 12 2016 - Saturday October 22 2016Read more