Dame Edna at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne
Anthony Pratt and Opera Australia present

Opera for the people

The most famous arias, under the stars — free!


Saturday 1 February 2020, 8pm

Sidney Myer Music Bowl
Gates open at 4pm

Spread out the picnic blanket and gather your friends. You’re invited to a special night with a very special hostess:‌ the irrepressible Dame Edna Everage. And thanks to the generosity of Anthony Pratt, it’s all for free!

Enjoy exhilarating top notes and stunning harmonies as some of our most exciting singers perform the opera hits you love best at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Whether you’re a regular at the opera or keen to hear your first ‘Nessun dorma’ live in concert, this is sure to be a memorable night out.

Complete with the 60-piece Orchestra Victoria, this is the perfect evening for Melbourne’s music lovers to enjoy together, and an opportunity for you to introduce someone to opera for the first time. But look out for a glimpse of wisteria hair — with Australia’s most famous diva on stage, you never know what might happen.

Gates open at 4pm, so arrive early to enjoy a program of family-friendly entertainment before the concert. Brihony Dawson, performance art trio Born in a Taxi and magician Anthony Demasi will help you while away a perfect summer’s afternoon.

What are you waiting for, possums?

Conductor Brian Castles–Onion
Director Hugh Halliday
Lighting designer Paul Collison
Sound designer Des O’Neill
Choreographer Shannon Burns
featuring Eva Kong 
  Angela Hogan
  Arnold Rawls
  Simon Meadows

Orchestra Victoria

Going to Opera for the People? Invite your friends via Facebook.

Principal Donor
Pratt Foundation logo

Venue Partner

Arts Centre Melbourne logo

Event Partner

City of Melbourne logo


LOEWE Overture to My Fair Lady performed by Orchestra Victoria
ROSSINI ‘Largo al factotum’ from The Barber of Seville performed by Simon Meadows
BIZET Habanera from Carmen performed by Angela Hogan
PUCCINI ‘Che gelida manina’ from La Bohème performed by Arnold Rawls
LOEWE ‘I Could Have Danced all Night’ from My Fair Lady performed by Eva Kong
LARA ‘Granada’ performed by Simon Meadows
BIZET ‘Au fond du temple saint’ from The Pearlfishers performed by Simon Meadows and Arnold Rawls
VERDI ‘Follie! Follie!...Sempre libera’ from La Traviata performed by Eva Kong

INTERVAL (30 minutes)

ROSSINI Gallop from the Overture to William Tell performed by Orchestra Victoria
BIZET The Toreador Song from Carmen performed by Simon Meadows
MASCAGNI Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana performed by Orchestra Victoria
GOUNOD The Jewel Song from Faust performed by Eva Kong
CAPUA ‘O sole mio’ performed by Arnold Rawls
DELIBES ‘Dôme épais, le jasmin’ from Lakmé performed by Eva Kong and Angela Hogan
PUCCINI ‘Nessun dorma’ from Turandot performed by Arnold Rawls

How do I get there?

Sidney Myer Music Bowl is situated in Kings Domain on Linlithgow Avenue. Entry is via Gate 1, near the King George V Monument.

It's a 15-minute walk from Flinders Street Station, across Princess Bridge over the Yarra River. Otherwise, get off at tram stop 17 on St Kilda Road and Grant Street (routes 3, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67 & 72).

Is there parking nearby?

There is limited pay and display parking around Sidney Myer Music Bowl and the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Arts Centre Melbourne has an undercover car park, with the entrance located on the corner of Sturt and Kavanagh Streets, Southbank. Visit for more information. 

What can I bring to the venue?

Call your friends and family, pack a picnic, sunscreen and bring a blanket to enjoy a magical night under the stars. For extra comfort, bring along a portable chair, but be mindful of your neighbours and make sure the back measures no more than 20cm from the ground.

Alcohol is allowed on site, so feel free to bring a bottle of wine, or make use of the venue's various bars and food trucks.

There is a designated smoking area out the front of Gate 2.

There will be a cloak room inside Gate 1 for prams and bulky items.

Please don't bring tables, tents, glass drinking glasses, fireworks, animals, weapons or promotional materials, as they won't be allowed on site.

Food and drinks
A range of food and beverages are available for sale from the afternoon to the end of the evening. You are also welcome to bring your own picnic and alcohol. However, glass drinking glasses are not permitted on site. Please ensure waste is disposed of in the rubbish bins located around the site.
Can I take pictures and video?

We'd love to see you having fun with your friends at Opera for the People!  

Nothing compares to listening to live opera. Once the performance begins, please put away your mobile phone and cameras.

What if it rains?

This is an outdoor event which operates rain or shine, so please come prepared for all weather. Umbrellas must be closed during the performance as they spoil the view for others around you. We recommend bringing warm and weatherproof clothing. Biodegradable rain ponchos will be available on site in the event of rain.

In the unlikely event that the performance is cancelled due to severe weather conditions, announcements and notifications will be made on the Opera Australia website and social media channels. 


Surtitles will be provided throughout the event.

The Sidney Myer Music Bowl has a golf buggy if you require assistance getting from Linlithgow Avenue to the venue entrance. Bookings are not necessary. Please see venue staff for assistance.

A dedicated wheelchair seating area is also available. Please ask ushers or staff on the night to direct you to this area when you arrive.

What if it's smoky?

Ongoing bushfires around Australia are affecting air quality in Melbourne, and conditions change from day to day. Please take into account air quality conditions and your own personal circumstances when deciding whether to attend Opera for the People. Conditions can change throughout the day and you should monitor air quality regularly.

In the unlikely event we're confronted with hazardous air quality during the concert, we may pause the event until the Air Quality Index drops to a suitable and safe level to proceed. Announcements will be made to the public if this be the case.

In the unlikely event that the performance is cancelled due to severe weather conditions, we'll notify people on our website and social media channels.