La Bohème on New Year's Eve


La Bohème on New Year's Eve

With the flickering of a candle, love sparks. Two hands meet in the dark and four friends' lives are changed forever.

The way that first love grabs hold of your insides and floods you with something you've never felt before. The fire that burns you the first time jealousy flares. The growing up you do in the instant you realise love can't last forever. Puccini takes these achingly human feelings and sets them to music — music that soars with the ecstacy of love, crackles with the pain of jealousy and cries with the agony of loss.

Some human emotions are too big for words alone, and for that, we have music. La Bohème exposes your soul to the feelings that only music can express, and it opens our season most years because that's an experience eeryone should have in their lifetime.

Gale Edwards' glittering production, set in the bohemian streets of 1930s Berlin, offers a perfect showcase for Mariangela Sicilia in the role of Mimì.

New Year's Eve at Sydney Opera House

New Year's Eve is the night when Sydney puts on the bling, kicks up its heels and shows the world what a gorgeous thing it is, as a festival of fire explodes across the midnight sky. 

Ringside seats to the greatest show on earth are hard to come by, but we've saved some great ones, and you're invited.

Leave the crowds behind as you enter the Sydney Opera House.

Choose to settle back for an evening with Rodolfo, Mimi, Marcello and Musetta in Puccini's La Bohème.

Then, with a heart full of song, watch the fireworks the whole world watches. Interval is timed for the 9pm fireworks and the Sydney Opera House stays open well past the midnight fireworks.

There’s nowhere in the world like Sydney on New Year’s Eve and there’s nowhere closer to the action than Sydney Opera House. Make this your most glamorous and memorable New Year ever.


Carlo Montanaro

Director Gale Edwards
Revival Director Hugh Halliday
Set Designer Brian Thomson
Costume Designer Julie Lynch
Lighting Designer John Rayment
Mimì Mariangela Sicilia
Rodolfo Ji-Min Park

Taryn Fiebig

Marcello Christopher Tonkin
Colline Richard Anderson
Schaunard Shane Lowrencev
Benoit Graeme Macfarlane
Alcindoro Adrian Tamburini

Australian Opera Ballet Orchestra

Opera Australia Chorus

Opera Australia Children's Chorus

Please note: this production contains partial nudity.

Running time: approximately 2 hours & 20 minutes, including one 20-minute interval

Performed in Italian with English surtitles.

Add pre-performance dinner and/or the Midnight Party when you book your tickets for La Bohème.

Pre-Performance Dinner $439 (SOLD OUT)

Look out over Sydney Harbour as you dine to a three-course menu, designed by Matt Moran of ARIA Restaurant, matched with premium Katnook Coonawarra wines and beverages in the Northern Foyer from 5:30pm. Add this option to your cart after you've selected your seats for La Bohème.

Midnight Party $349

Canapés, drinks and live entertainment from 10:30pm, with views of the midnight fireworks from the Northern Foyers. Add this option to your cart after you've selected your seats for La Bohème

Platinum Package $1,259 (SOLD OUT)

Pre-performance dinner, Premium seats at the performance of your choice, a program, drink at interval, and the Midnight Party. Get the best seats in the house and book a Platinum Package by calling our Box Office on 02 9318 8200.

Important Times

Pre-Performance Dinner (5.30pm)

The Northern Foyers of the Concert Hall and the Joan Sutherland Theatre will open for pre-performance dinner patrons at 5pm. Dinner commences at 5.30pm.

Foyers (6.00pm)

The foyers of the Joan Sutherland Theatre will be open from 6pm.

La Bohème (7.45pm)

The performance commences at 7:45pm and runs until 10:30pm, with an interval timed for the 9pm fireworks. Please be aware that this event is very popular, so the Northern Foyer balconies will be crowded during the fireworks. 

Midnight Party (10:30pm)

The party commences immediately after the performance in the Northern Foyer of the Joan Sutherland Theatre and finishes at approximately 1.30am.

Please be aware that this event is very popular, so the balconies will be crowded during the fireworks.

The Story Hide

A poet, a painter, a musician and a philosopher walk into a bar (no really!) to celebrate a sudden windfall in a lean winter. It’s Christmas Eve, and the poet has just felt the first pangs of great love. When a seamstress knocks on his door searching for candlelight, the pair fall in love faster than she can sing, "Yes, they call me Mimì…"

Between the ideals of love and art and the cruel realities of cold winters, bitter jealousies and empty pockets, two sets of lovers are trying to find their way.

By the time the curtain falls, you’ll know the answer to an eternal question:

Is love enough?

Not afraid of spoilers? Read the full synopsis.


It is Christmas Eve. Rodolfo, a poet, and Marcello, a painter, are freezing in their studio. Marcello is painting The Crossing of the Red Sea. Colline, a philosopher, arrives as the fire Rodolfo has lit with one of his manuscripts, flickers and dies. Schaunard brings reinforcements — food, wine and fuel for the fire, bought with unexpected money from his earnings as a musician.

A knock at the door and Benoit, the landlord, arrives demanding the rent. The four Bohemians ply him with wine and then bundle him off. Marcello, Colline and Schaunard go off to join the celebrations at Café Momus. Promising to join them soon, Rodolfo settles down to finish an article he is writing.

There is another knock. This time it is a neighbour, Mimì — a beautiful young seamstress, holding her key and an unlit candle. She begs a light and Rodolfo obliges. Mimì departs and drops her key. Together they search for the key, and their hands touch. They tell each other about themselves and Rodolfo passionately declares his love. The new lovers then set off into the night to join the others.


The square in which Café Momus is situated is the Bohemians' favourite haunt, bustling with shoppers and hawkers. Rodolfo buys his new love a bonnet.

At the café, Marcello's old flame, Musetta, appears with a new admirer, Alcindoro. To attract Marcello's attention, Musetta bursts into her famous waltz song. Marcello responds and Musetta, pretending that her shoe is pinching, dispatches Alcindoro to a cobbler. She joins in the revelry with Marcello and his friends. When they depart they leave a reminder for the hapless Alcindoro on his return — a huge bill!


It is daybreak just inside a tollgate. Snow lies on the ground. Mimì emerges from the throng of workers. She is looking for Marcello at a nearby inn where he and Musetta have been living for the past month. Pale and agitated, she tells him of Rodolfo's jealousy which has made their life together impossible.

Mimì hides as Rodolfo suddenly appears. He declares her to be unfaithful, but then confides to Marcello that Mimì is very ill and blames himself and his poverty for not being able to help her. Mimì's sudden coughing betrays her presence and the lovers sadly decide it is best that they part.

Their parting duet is interrupted by the sounds of a fierce quarrel between Marcello and Musetta. Mimì and Rodolfo decide to stay together until spring returns.


The studio, months later.

Both pairs of lovers have now parted. Mimì and Musetta have found wealthy admirers.  Rodolfo and Marcello feign indifference, but neither can forget the memory of his love. Schaunard and Colline arrive with meagre food and the four sit down to a mock 'banquet'.

While they are acting the fool, Musetta rushes in with news that Mimì is desperately ill and has asked to be brought back to Rodolfo to die. Musetta explains that the Viscount has discarded Mimì and she has been living on the streets for weeks sinking further into poverty and desperation. The Bohemians rally to the cause. Musetta pawns her earrings and Colline his beloved coat to buy medicine for Mimì.

Alone for a short time, Mimì and Rodolfo recall the past, reliving their short spell of happiness and their dreams together. Mimì, seized by a coughing fit, falls back, exhausted. When the others return, she weakly thanks them for their kindness and falls asleep.

It is Schaunard who first notices that Mimì is dead. Rodolfo is the last to realise, by seeing the truth on his friends' faces.

Sydney Opera House Foyers will open from 6pm

We understand that you want to leave plenty of time to arrive at the Sydney Opera House on such a special night but arrival before 4:30pm is not encouraged. Foyers will be open from 6pm, unless you have booked a pre-performance dinner.

Where do Opera Australia's New Year's Eve events take place at Sydney Opera House?

Take a look at our map of the Sydney Opera House.

Cloak rooms

There are facilities to cloak your bags inside the Sydney Opera House.

9pm fireworks

The interval has been specifically timed to conincide with the 9pm fireworks. Ticket holders will have the opportunity to access exclusive viewing areas which take in all aspects of the world famous Sydney Harbour fireworks display.

All foyer bars will be operational at interval.

Midnight fireworks

If you are not attending the Midnight Party, you will be able to watch the fireworks from the Southern foyers of the Sydney Opera House. Theatre bars will be open and a range of beverages as well as hot and cold foods will be available for purchase.

Northern Foyer balconies

Please be aware that this event is very popular, so the balconies will be crowded during the fireworks. 

Have your tickets ready to show at ticket checkpoints

All patrons should approach the Sydney Opera House from the Eastern side of Macquarie Street and enter via the Macquarie Street checkpoint. Ticket holders are required to show their tickets at security checkpoints to gain access to the Sydney Opera House precinct.

Pre booked tickets will be available for collection at the Sydney Opera House Box Office marquee on Macquarie Street, up from the checkpoint near Bridge Street from 12:00pm noon.

Sydney Opera House Foyers will open from 6pm

We understand that you want to leave plenty of time to arrive at the Sydney Opera House on such a special night but arrival before 4:30pm is not encouraged. Foyers will be open from 6pm, unless you have booked a pre-performance dinner.

Dress code

It is always fun to dress up for a special occassion like New Year's Eve and make a glamorous night of it, but you don't have to dress up. 

Cloak rooms

There are facilities to cloak your bags inside the Sydney Opera House.

Is there a map of the venue?

Yes! Download our map of the Sydney Opera House

Security Requirements

All bags will be checked at site entry points. Please be prepared to have your bags checked. Prohibited items will be removed.

Any other questions?

Read our ultimate guide to going to the opera or contact our friendly box office on 02 9318 8200 or email