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Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour March 23 - April 22

Enjoy world-class opera in a spectacular setting.

By Ellie Schneider

This is opera, but not as you’ve ever seen before. Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour offers an unforgettable evening of song, dance and fireworks, with the sparkling Sydney Harbour as its backdrop.

Fast Facts

  • Where: Sydney
  • When: 23 March - 22 April 2018
  • Price: $$

Opera Sydney Harbour highlights


Experience the world’s best loved operas

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour has become one of the most highly anticipated events on Australia’s cultural calendar. 2018 sees the arrival of Puccini's well-known opera La Bohème, in an unforgettable production by director Andy Morton. The music swells with love, soars in ecstasy, crackles with jealousy and cries with heartache.

Feel the magic of snow falling on Sydney Harbour (yes, really!) as you discover a wintry Christmas Eve in Paris. In the snow-kissed city of light, six friends taste love, laughter and the first pangs of loss.

See the harbour from a unique perspective

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is located at Mrs Macquaries Point, at the tip of the Royal Botanic Gardens. The stage floats above Sydney Harbour, with a spectacular backdrop that includes the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and city skyscrapers. One of the most brilliant aspects of the open theatre’s design is the housing of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra underneath the stage: they have a complete sound ‘shell’ with the music projected out into the audience via hundreds of hidden speakers.

Drink and dine in style

Essentially a pop-up opera house, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour includes bars and restaurants where you can dine pre-show. These range from cheap and cheerful to fine dining.


Extend your night and take a short taxi ride from the Botanic Gardens to one of the elegant bars in the city centre after the performance. Palmer & Co is a 1920s-style bar serving an extensive menu of spirits and specialty cocktails. Let the barmen whip you up a Manhattan Cooler – Havana Club aged rum, lemon sherbet, citrus and red wine. And there’s a good selection of charcuterie if you’re hungry.  


By far the most glamorous way to reach the opera is by water taxi: a shuttle service operates from Circular Quay East wharf, Circular Quay West wharf, the wharf near the Park Hyatt Sydney, and Man O’ War Jetty near Sydney Opera House. The closest train station is Circular Quay. A flat fee applies, with bookings essential.