Dinner on the Dock

Dinner on the Dock — The Gardens of Babylon

Saturday 20 May 2017

Dinner on the Dock is one of the pre-eminent events in the Sydney social calendar and is much loved by Opera Australia’s supporters and friends. The industrial space at the Opera Centre, known as ‘the paint dock’, normally used for painting the large backcloths and other stage items, is transformed into an intriguing venue for a high-end food and wine event. The unique nature of this venue has brought guests back year after year.

This year’s theme, The Gardens of Babylon, features internationally renowned guest chef, Christine Manfield, who will create a garden-to-plate experience for 240 guests. The paint dock will be filled with hanging greenery and operatic exotica, and the dinner will include a ‘create your own dessert’ finale, a highly anticipated Manfield touch.

Dinner on the Dock will also feature performances by two of Opera Australia’s principal artists, Hyeseoung Kwon and Simon Kim.
For more information on Dinner on the Dock contact Sue Hackett on 02 9318 8330 or email

See photos of Dinner on the Dock — 2017
Photo Gallery

See photos of Dinner on the Dock — 2017

Auction catalogue

Full details of these items can be found in the auction catalogue provided at the event. You can view the full auction rules and conditions here.

Live Auction 01

Robert Albert Utimate Dinner Party Collection, 24th Edition

Value: $3,000-$3,500

Robert Albert’s Ultimate Dinner Party Collection is a fine tradition at Opera Australia’s favourite food and wine event. Over 23 years it has raised $85,000 and this year the collection presents some outstanding wines and vintages from France and Tuscany.

The collection includes: 1 bottle NV Krug Grande Cuvée, Champagne; 1 bottle 2010 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru (Bonneau du Martray), White Burgundy; 1 bottle 2010 Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru (Sauzet), White Burgundy; 1 bottle 2006 Solaia (Antinori) – Super Tuscan (80% cabernet, 20% sangiovese); 1 bottle 2010 Musigny Grand Cuvée Vieilles Vignes (Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé) – Red Burgundy; ½ bottle 2001 Château Coutet 1er Cru (Sauternes-Barsac), Dessert Wine; ½ bottle 2001 Château d’Yquem 1er Cru Supérieur (Sauternes), Dessert Wine.

Provided by Robert Albert AO RFD RD

Live Auction 02

Pretty Woman

Value: $2,500

Who doesn’t dream of a fairytale night out? Dress like a queen with a $1,000 voucher from Carla Zampatti who will meet with you for a styling session. We'll provide 2 tickets to My Fair Lady at The Capitol in Sydney where you'll be meet cast afterwards. You’ll need a luxury hotel of course and happily The InterContinental at Circular Quay has generously donated one room for one night with Club InterContinental access. Club InterContinental includes complimentary deluxe breakfast for two, complimentary twilight hour, all day light refreshments, express check-in and check-out, as well as a host of other benefits.  

Package provided by InterContinental Sydney, Carla Zampatti, Opera Australia

Live Auction 03


Value: $5,000

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, an ultra-luxury conservation-based resort nestled within the heart of the Greater Blue Mountains, presents a magificent mountainside retreat, a short 2.5 hour drive from Sydney. Relax amongst the beauty of nature with a two-night getaway for you and a special someone. Your stay includes a luxurious Heritage Villa accommodation with private pool, gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner with a selection of wines and beers, plus two on-site nature-based activities from scheduled complimentary inclusions.

Provided by Emirates One&Only Wogan Valley

Live Auction 04

Leonard Joel — Jewel

Value: $6,000

A South Sea pearl and diamond pendant necklace. Silver white pearl measures 16.5mm and 0.29cts of diamonds mounted in 18ct white gold

Provided by Leonard Joel

Live Auction 05

Cristine Manfield — A private dinner

Value: Invaluable (Reserve $5,000)

Since she closed the much mourned Universal Restaurant in 2013, the world has been Christine’s oyster. With a schedule that sees her travelling frequently, Christine is much in demand, so we are thrilled that she has generously offered a rare and wonderful opportunity to experience her brilliant food up close and personal. Christine has offered to cook dinner in your home for 10 people. Supported by Pearl Catering this is a coup on a grand scale, and to complete a memorable evening Opera Australia will provide an opera singer and accompanist and (if required) a piano. Pages Event Equipment has come to the party and will provide any necessary hire equipment for you. Your own mini Dinner on the Dock!

Package provided by Christine Manfield, Pearl Catering, Pages Event Equipment and Opera Australia

Live Auction 06

Parsifal dinner with Jonas Kaufmann, Saturday 12 August 2017

Value: Invaluable 

Jonas Kaufmann is the greatest tenor of our time and he returns to the Sydney Opera House to perform one of opera’s most challenging roles in a rare concert performance of Wagner’s final opera. Tickets to this performance are sold out so here is your chance! We'll provide two tickets to the performance of Parsifal on Saturday 12 August 2017 and after the performance you will enjoy a very exclusive dinner with members of the Opera Australia Parsifal Syndicate in the presence of Jonas Kaufmann. A program signed by Mr Kaufmann tops off this operatic coup.

Provided by Opera Australia

Live Auction 07

London Calling

Value: $15,000

Luxurious London is always a delight. Enjoy Qantas Business Class return flights  from any Australian capital to London for two people with three nights’ accommodation at The Dorchester generously donated by Dorchester Collection. One of the world’s most iconic luxury hotels, The Dorchester is quite simply the place to be in London. Superbly located in the centre of London and overlooking both Hyde Park and Mayfair, it’s a favourite choice of celebrities, world leaders, royalty and high society. After you’ve settled in take in a performance at the Royal Albert Hall, home to the BBC Proms and the world’s leading figures in music, dance, sport and politics who have been appearing on its stage since it opened in 1871. Get right to the heart of this fabulous building with a private tour of the Hall hosted by their new Chief Executive, Craig Hassall AM. Yes, London is calling! 

Subject to availability.

Provided by Royal Albert Hall, Qantas, Dorchester Collection


Tickets: $100 each or $200 for 3

Item #1

Les Jardins de Babylone

Value: $550

Two bottles of a magnificent sticky with the perfect name for tonight: Didier Dagueneau Les Jardins de Babylone 2010 (500ml). This wine, made in tiny quantities from ridiculously low yields of (100%) Petit Manseng, offers all the purity and precision of Dagueneau’s greatest wines. The low yields and the warmth of the site means Les Jardins de Babylone can be picked as early as late October; a full month before the grapes for Jurançon moelleux are conventionally picked. Even so, the wine usually ends up with approximately 125g/l residual sugar, perfectly balanced by mouth-watering, tangy acidity rendering a wine with fabulous verve and drive. A superb achievement, this achingly beautiful sweet wine will drink well for decades.

Provided by Robert Albert AO RFD RD

Item #2

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin
Value: $450

Gin! We love gin and here are 6 bottles. Four Pillars have our number.  As they say “it’s a dry gin, alright", but not in a traditional London style. In short, the juniper is still there as a canvas, but painted on that canvas is a gorgeous blend of modern Australian flavours, with the citrus of Southern Europe combining with the spice of South East Asia. All of which makes it an entirely too drinkable gin.

Provided by Four Pillars

Item #3

Lilianfels Resort & Spa

Value: $1,150

Escape to the stunning World Heritage listed Blue Mountains and enjoy luxury resort accommodation at Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa. Just 90 minutes’ drive from Sydney, Lilianfels is a renowned haven for relaxation and a delight for the gourmet. Situated in one of Australia’s most beautiful destinations, the picturesque Jamison Valley and escarpments, there are abundant wildlife and scenic attractions right on your doorstep. Includes 1 night Gourmet Getaway Package — including one night’s luxury accommodation in a Deluxe Valley Room at Lilianfels Resort & Spa with full breakfast for two, a three course dinner for two at Darley’s Restaurant with matching wine plus use of the gym and spa facilities.

Valid Sundays to Thursdays only. Subject to  availability & excluding special event periods.

Provided by Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa

Item #4

Sir Sidney Robert Nolan OM AC — The Questioning, Kelly Series 1970–71

Value: $850–$1,200

Photo silkscreen edition. 75/75 Signed lower right. 47.5 x 63.5 cm. Framed.

Provided by Jennifer Hershon

Dinner on the Dock — The Gardens of Babylon

Saturday 20 May 2017

The Paint Dock, The Opera Centre, Surry Hills

Opera Australia Principal Partner


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Christine Manfield

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Pearl Catering

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Aqua Botanical


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