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)|
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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
When the Australian Ballet’s Spartacus toured America in 1990, it nearly brought New York to a standstill. Crowds in Times Square stopped to gawp at the giant poster of leather-clad dancer Steven Heathcote as the rebellious gladiator, while at ground...Ballet Until Saturday November 24 2018
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend us your ears: Bell Shakespeare is hoping to jolt us out of complacency with its new production of Julius Caesar. While the play mightn't be Shakespeare's most performed, it's certainly one of his stabbiest, and Bell Shakespeare...Until Sunday November 25 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 Wednesday November 14 2018 - Saturday December 15 2018
The Grammy, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning polymath is gearing up to deliver two back-to-back shows on the forecourt of Sydney Opera House in November. It’ll be six month since he released his now infamous video for ‘This is America’, which now has...Rap, hip hop and R&B Wednesday November 14 2018 - Thursday November 15 2018
Things to do
An Evening with Kevin McCloud
Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud is returning to Australia for an exclusive appearance in conversation with Man About the House presenter and comedian Tim Ross. The pair will take to the Concert Hall stage in one of the most recognisable buildings in...Talks and discussions Thursday November 15 2018
AAMI presents Just for Laughs Festival
Now in its eighth year, AAMI presents Just For Laughs Festival has become a comedy fixture for Sydney, presenting a largely Antipodean, UK and American line-up across Sydney Opera House, Enmore Theatre, Factory Theatre and City Recital Hall. Highlights...Stand Up Monday November 19 2018 - Sunday November 25 2018
Ken Jeong Live
You might remember him as Leslie Chow from the Hangover trilogy or the wise-cracking doctor in Judd Apatow's Knocked Up, but if you didn't know actor Ken Jeong is also an accomplished stand-up comedian, and he will be performing live in Sydney for the...Stand Up Wednesday November 21 2018
Reggie Watts might now be best known as the leader of the house band for The Late Late Show with James Corden, but he's long performed his own brilliant shows of musical improv, using just his voice and a loop pedal. He's performing one show at the Sydney...Friday November 23 2018
Things to do
Sydney’s beloved harbourside landmark will be transformed into a massive dancefloor for a free weekend of Indigenous celebration. This nation-wide Indigenous dance competition honours long-standing cultural traditions and welcomes performers of Aboriginal...Fairs and festivals Saturday November 24 2018 - Sunday November 25 2018 Free