This event has finished. See what's on.


Eastern Apron and Bolt Wharf, Cockatoo Island


Sung in French with English surtitles

Running time

Approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one interval.

Please note

This production contains adult themes, sexual references, depictions of violence against women, and loud noises.

The ultimate femme fatale is back, in a brand new island performance in the middle of Sydney Harbour.

Carmen tosses her hair, stamps her feet and the whole world falls under her spell.

Revel in the irresistible Spanish tunes, sultry story and dark undercurrent of Carmen. You’ll hear the flirty Habanera and famous Toreador song amid a spectacle that features motorbike stunts, crashed cars and fireworks.

Your night begins with a ferry ride across the glittering water to the world-heritage listed sanctuary of Cockatoo Island. Step off the boat and you’re surrounded by layers of history. Once a meeting place for the Eora Nation, the site is now dotted with the industrial relics of a century of ship-building and architectural marvels dating back to Sydney’s convict past.

Today, the island is a world-class contemporary arts venue, hosting everything from the Biennale of Sydney to live concert performances. It’s the perfect backdrop for Bizet’s gritty tale of fate and freedom.

Raise a glass with friends and grab a snack from an array of pop up bars and eateries on the foreshore before settling in under the stars for an unforgettable night out.

“Bonkers and fabulous, crazy-brave spectacle… ★★★★★”

Stage Noise
Carmen on Cockatoo Island Sydney

Cheat Sheet: Carmen on Cockatoo Island

Here’s everything you need to know about one of opera’s greatest hits, from the famous music to quirky facts that will impress your date.

Read the cheat sheet


Cockatoo Island Shuttle Ferry

Getting to Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island is accessible by the Opera on Cockatoo Island Shuttle Ferry, public ferry, or water taxi.

We strongly recommend adding the Cockatoo Island Shuttle Ferry to your purchase during checkout as the public ferry and water taxi services have limited capacities.

Find out more
A pizza people can buy as part of the Drink and dine package at The Merchant Mealhouse on Cockatoo Island

Drink & dine at The Merchant Mealhouse on Cockatoo Island

Waltz past the food and bar queues and immerse yourself in the industrial charm of The Merchant Mealhouse. Relax in the exclusive area before the performance and during interval with a selection of pizzas, quick bites, desserts, and beverages.

View the menu
Join a tour on Cockatoo Island

Take a tour on Cockatoo Island

Add a 30 minute pre-show tour of Cockatoo Island’s Convict Precinct to your visit. See striking sandstone buildings and discover the harsh living conditions endured by the island’s inmates.

Find out more
Stay at Cockatoo Island

Stay at Cockatoo Island

Once the performance ends, spend the night relaxing in a distinctive heritage apartment, holiday house, or camp under the stars, surrounded by landscaped gardens and sweeping views.

Find out more


Beyonce, featured in Carmen: The original pop opera

New to opera? We promise you’ll know Carmen’s famous tunes

Maybe this is your first Carmen. It could be your first live opera. So how come you’ve heard so many of these songs before? Well, for starters, it has more smash hits than any other opera. Even Beyoncé’s movie debut was an adaption of this famous opera.

Find out more


Frequently Asked Questions

Cast & Creative

Set and Costume Designer
Lighting Designer
Sound Designer
Carmen Topciu (25, 27, 30 Nov and 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16,18 Dec)
Sian Sharp (26, 29 Nov and 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17 Dec)
Don José
Roberto Aronica (25, 27, 30 Nov and 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16,18 Dec)
Diego Torre (26, 29 Nov and 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17 Dec)
Daniel Sumegi (25, 27, 30 Nov and 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16,18 Dec)
Alexander Sefton (26, 29 Nov and 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17 Dec)
Danita Weatherstone (25, 27, 30 Nov and 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16,18 Dec)
Rebecca Gulinello (26, 29 Nov and 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17 Dec)
Jane Ede (25 Nov–4 Dec)
Esther Song (6 Dec–18 Dec)


This production takes place in a timeless version of Seville. Don José, who was training for the priesthood in his native Basque country, killed a man in a quarrel and has had to enlist in the army in Seville. His mother and Micaëla, who loves him and hopes to marry him, have followed him to the south and live in a village near the city…

Read the Full Synopsis

Strategic and Government Sponsor

Feel New Sydney Logo