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.
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|Opening hours:||Box office: Mon-Sat 9am-8.30pm; Sun two hours prior to performance (in person only)|
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Things to do
Sunrise on the Steps
Sydney Opera House is launching a new series of fitness and wellbeing classes on weekday mornings. Starting in March and running until the middle of May, the 60-minute workouts will take place on the steps of the House with views of the Botanic Gardens...Classes and workshops Until Friday May 18 2018
Death and the Maiden
Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ is known as one of the definitive and most extraordinary works in the classical repertoire, full of sudden and dramatic changes. The ACO will perform with superstar Russian-born violinist Alina Ibragimova. The program...Classical and opera Until Monday March 26 2018
Antony and Cleopatra
The space between Rome and Egypt has shrunk into nothingness in Bell Shakespeare’s new production of Antony and Cleopatra, only the company’s second in its 28-year history. The action all takes place in a singular, curved space. You could call it a luxe...Drama Until Saturday April 7 2018
The image of Cervantes’ mad knight, Don Quixote, is one of the most enduring in western literature, and has inspired musicians, artists and writers for several centuries, ranging from 17th century plays to countless paintings and the popular 1965 musical...Until Wednesday March 28 2018
We challenge you to find a bigger tearjerker than this in the opera canon; it's not just the story (based on Alexandre Dumas' popular 1848 novel La Dame aux Camélias) about a courtesan who falls for a young admirer, but sacrifices her chance at happiness...Until Tuesday March 27 2018
Seu Jorge: Life Aquatic – A Tribute to Bowie
Wes Anderson’s 2004 film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is a comedy, but it's infused with wonder, sadness and longing. The story of a Jacques Cousteau-like oceanographic adventurer (played by Bill Murray) and his quest to make a film about the hunt...Latin and world Sunday March 25 2018
[Sponsored] According to Rolling Stone, Youssou Ndour is “perhaps the most famous singer alive in Senegal and much of Africa”. Australian audiences know him through his work with Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel and his smash hit 1994 single ‘7 Seconds’, featuring...Folk, country and blues Wednesday March 28 2018
This is Time Out Melbourne's four-star review of the Melbourne season of this production. There’s a tiny detail in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road that still chills me some ten years after I first encountered it. The unnamed father at the centre of this post-apocalyptic...Drama Thursday March 29 2018 - Saturday May 19 2018
If you've ever had a chance to see the Australian Ballet in action, there's a good chance you'll have seen them performing works choreographed by the country's leading dancemaker, Graeme Murphy. To celebrate Murphy’s prolific 50-year career with the...Ballet Friday April 6 2018 - Monday April 23 2018