"Of all the noises known to man,” said French farceur Molière, “opera is the most expensive." But it doesn’t have to be. There are ways that opera-curious Sydneysiders can try out this most extravagant of forms (described by Wagner as ‘total art’, or 'Gesamtkunstwerk’).
First up, there’s Opera Australia’s Wakil Ballot, which makes more than six-hundred $20 tickets available to low-income and culture-curious individuals who might not have had the resources to experience it before – as determined by an online ballot.
And there’s more to opera in Sydney than just big-budget productions of classical European opera: a number of excellent independent companies specialise in different parts of the repertoire, and at a lower price point – from Pinchgut Opera’s contemporary renderings of Baroque masterworks, to Sydney Chamber Opera’s compact productions of late 20th-century chamber opera at Carriageworks (with a flat price of $35).
If you do want the whole shebang and are willing to splash out, we've listed upcoming Opera Australia productions below – including the most spectacular of them all: Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour.