Audio Description and Tactile Tours

For those with vision impairments, Opera Australia, in association with Vision Australia, schedule Audio-Described Performances and Tactile Tours.

Audio description is a verbal commentary relayed to audience members who are blind or have low vision. The description conveys what is happening on the stage during the parts of the performance where there is no dialogue. The description does not interfere with the performance but fills in the gaps, describing facial expressions, costume, scenery and action sequences as well as reading surtitles so that anyone unable to access visual aspects of the performance can follow the plot fully and independently.

The description provided by highly trained Vision Australia describers via a discreet receiver and earphone transmitted via an in-house wireless system.

In addition, pre-performance notes providing additional insight into the production are also available to service users through Vision Australia.

2014 Audio Described Performances

Rigoletto Sat 26 April 1pm
Eugene Onegin Sat 3 May 1pm
Carmen Sun 25 May 2pm
Tosca Sat 13 Dec 1pm
Falstaff Sat 6 Dec 1pm
On request  
The Turk in Italy Sat 10 May 1pm
Don Pasquale Sat 29 Nov 1pm
The Magic Flute

Sat 15 Feb 1pm
Tactile Tour TBC - please contact us on 02 9318 8312
if you are interested in attending. 

Rigoletto Sat 19 July 1pm
Don Giovanni Sat 30 Aug 1pm
The King and I Wed 24 Sep 1pm


Tactile Tours

Tactile Tours allow audience members with limited vision to explore props and costumes, and where possible, get access to the set on stage. Led by an Opera Australia staff member who is closely involved in realising the production, the Tactile Tour helps to capture the atmosphere, costumes, characters and action of the show.

In 2014, Opera Australia plans to increase the Tactile Tours that we offer. If you’re interested, or know someone who is, we encourage you to get in touch with us on or 02 9318 8312. 

How to book Audio Described Performances and Tactile Tours

Audio-described and Tactile Tour bookings can only be made through Opera Australia directly by calling the Box Office in Sydney on 02 9318 8200, Melbourne on 03 9685 3700 or by emailing

When booking, please let us know the number of receivers you require. The receiver should be collected before the performance from the Customer Service Desk.


For more information about Accessibility and Opera Australia performances, please see here.


These photos of The Magic Flute give an idea of the costumes and props that audience members with limited vision can explore on a Tactile Tour.

If you’re interested in attending The Magic Flute Tactile Tour on Saturday 15 February 2014, or know someone who is, we encourage you to get in touch with us on or 02 9318 8312. 


The Magic Flute Production Photos
Photo Gallery

The Magic Flute Production Photos