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
The Hunting of the Snark
Performers and storytellers have been searching for the snark for centuries. The strange beast from the poems of Lewis Carroll has captivated kids and adults alike with its mysterious existence. This musical comedy at the Sydney Opera House’s Playhouse...Music events Tuesday July 17 2018 - Sunday July 22 2018
As with most major opera companies, Opera Australia has a handful of productions that are so popular with their audiences they're revived time and time again. Towards the top of that list is Elijah Moshinsky's 1991 production of Rigoletto, which is returning...Tuesday July 17 2018 - Friday August 24 2018
Sport and fitness
Sunrise at the House
Let’s face it, we’re not at our bright-eyed and bushy-tailed best in winter. Fair weather yogis might find ourselves trapped under a doona in a Netflix coma at this time of year, but help is at hand thanks to a seasonal update to Sydney Opera House’s...Yoga, pilates and meditation Wednesday July 18 2018 - Friday August 31 2018
Operas don't come much bigger than Verdi's Aida. The story of the enslaved Ethopian princess might be intimate and tragic, but the opera is best known for its big chorus scenes including the Triumphal March in the second act – where it's not uncommon...Wednesday July 18 2018 - Friday August 31 2018
Lucia di Lammermoor
The Sydney Opera House debut of Jessica Pratt in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor is a big deal. Pratt is one of just three Australian singers to ever perform the role at Milan’s legendary La Scala. The other two? A pair of dames: Joan Sutherland...Classical and opera Thursday July 19 2018 - Friday July 27 2018
The Great Illusionist
What did you want to be when you were a kid? An astronaut? Pirate? Doctor? Or maybe you dreamed of being one of the world’s best illusionist like the young protagonist in The Great Illusionist. These winter school holidays the Sydney Opera House is hosting...Music events Saturday July 21 2018 - Sunday July 29 2018
The Long Forgotten Dream
Neil Armfield brings his directing talents back to the Opera House with a new Australian piece by playwright and Ngarrindjeri man H. Lawrence Sumner. With a superb cast including Jada Alberts and Wayne Blair, this four generational saga set in a coastal...Drama Monday July 23 2018 - Saturday August 25 2018
The audacious Camp Cope will return to Sydney for one of their final shows of the year, showcasing their latest studio album, How to Socialise & Make Friends. Burgeoning from humble beginnings in a Melbourne backyard, this all-female indie-punk trio...Rock and indie Wednesday July 25 2018
Things to do
Taste of the Opera House
Did you know that over 1000 people tour the Opera House every single day? Actually it’s 363 days a year – even an icon gets Christmas and Good Friday off. You can wander through the theatres and auditoriums, guided in English, Mandarin, French, German,...Walks and tours Sunday August 5 2018 - Sunday December 2 2018
Two women dance on stage inside an increasingly small space. One is clothed, the other naked, both moving in perfect sync with the other. This is Split a fascinating work of contemporary dance by fearless Australian choreographer Lucy Guerin. After...Wednesday August 8 2018 - Sunday August 12 2018