HANDA OPERA ON SYDNEY HARBOUR
Carmen stamps her feet, tosses back her hair and draws you into her world. Men fall instantly under her spell, and once you’ve heard her sultry Habanera, you’ll fall for opera’s favourite femme fatale, too.
Take a harbourside setting with an unrivalled view of the famous Sydney skyline. Build a pop-up opera house, complete with bars, restaurants and tiered seating. Add a monumental set, colourful, eye-catching costumes, spectacular dance and an explosion of fireworks, and you’ve got a night like no other.
This is Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: the cultural event of the year. At sunset, gather with friends over a glass of something sparkling and a sumptuous Spanish meal before settling back to enjoy our vivacious, vivid production of Bizet’s Carmen as dusk settles over the harbour.
Powerful voices sing those famous Spanish tunes, filling the night air with Spanish rhythms and fiery passion. Soldiers patrol, factory girls seduce shamelessly, glittering bullfighters parade and dancers pirouette their way across the stage as the captivating Carmen walks fearlessly towards a fate written in the cards.
Travelling to Carmen on Sydney Harbour?
Qantas Holidays have domestic travel packages available from $290* per person, twin share.
Carmen on Sydney Harbour in 2013
Watch the trailer for Carmen on Sydney Harbour
Listen to the Toreador song from Carmen
Julie Lynch's costume design sketches for Carmen on Sydney Harbour
|Revival Director||Andy Morton|
|Assistant Director||Trent Kidd|
|Set Designer||Brian Thomson|
|Costume Designer||Julie Lynch|
|Lighting Desinger||John Rayment|
|Sound Designer||Tony David Cray|
|Fight Choreographer||Nigel Poulton|
|Carmen||Josè Maria Lo Monaco *|
|Sian Pendry †|
|Don José||Andeka Gorrotxategi *|
|Arnold Rutkowski †|
|Escamillo||Luke Gabbedy *|
|Michael Honeyman †|
|Micaëla||Natalie Aroyan *|
|Stacey Alleaume †|
* 24, 26, 29, 31 March; 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 18, 20, 22 April
† 25, 28, 30 March; 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 16, 19, 21, 23 April
Running time: approximately 2 hours & 45 minutes, including one 35-minute interval.
Performed in French with English and Simplified Chinese subtitles.
Opera Australia Principal Partner
Opera Australia Government Partners
“It’s the perfect potion — the glitzy visuals and hyperactive energy of a Broadway musical mixed with world-class opera.”
— TIME OUT
Small-town boy Don José is serving with the army far from home. His fellow soldiers — indeed the whole town — are captivated by the strange allure of a gypsy woman, Carmen. He thinks only of home, his mother, and the pretty Micaëla, a young girl who comes to deliver a letter from home.
Carmen has no patience for the men that fawn at her feet, but she is intrigued by the shy Don José.
Arrested for beginning a fight, Carmen seduces Don José to win her freedom, and convinces him to desert the army to join her in the gypsy life of liberty.
But her wandering eye has already found another lover: the dashing bullfighter, Escamillo.
Don José’s jealousy is fierce, Escamillo’s passion is determined, Carmen’s fate is set in the cards…
Mrs Macquaries Road, leading into the venue, is likely to experience traffic congestion. We highly recommend avoiding this road by catching public transport or parking in surrounding car parks and then catching our free shuttle bus. Or, be delivered right to the Point in style by catching a water taxi.
When walking from the train/bus remember that access to the venue via the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney is only possible prior to 6pm. After this time, the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney is closed from all entrances and not possible to walk through.
The nearest train stations are:
St James: approximately a 16-minute walk* (1.3 km)
Martin Place: approximately an 18-minute walk* (1.5 km)
Circular Quay: approximately a 29-minute walk* (2.3 km)
*These linked maps and estimated walk times use routes outside of The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney. If you're walking before the Garden gates close (prior to 6.30pm in March and 6pm in April), using a route through the Garden will save time.
Bus route 200 stops on Macquarie Street. View the timetable.
All schedules, times and dates can be viewed at the transportnsw.info.
The Domain Car
Park is the closest car park. From 4:30pm, a flat rate of $10 applies. The
carpark will be open until 1am during the performance season. A free shuttle
bus is available to guests who park in the Domain Car Park (see details below).
Parking spots for those with disability parking permits are located at the northern
end of the ground floor.
There is metered parking along Mrs Macquaries Road, Hospital Road and Macquarie Street. Meters accept cash, credit card or payment by mobile phone. You need to register to pay with your mobile phone at mpark.com.au.
Art Gallery Road, leading into the venue, is likely to experience traffic congestion. We highly recommend arranging an alternative drop off/meeting point.
The pre-performance shuttle service starts at 4:30pm until 7:30pm and loops from
the Domain Car Park (departing from Sir John Young Crescent on the ground floor) to
the venue entrance on Mrs Macquaries Road.
The post-performance shuttle service starts from 9:50pm until midnight and stops at both the Art Gallery of NSW and the Domain Car Park.
The Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour shuttle bus departs from the ground floor of the Domain Car Park and is wheelchair accessible.
H2O Water Taxis run a special service during the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour performance season.
Water taxis will depart regularly from Man O'War Jetty (next to Sydney Opera House) from 4.30pm until 7.30pm and drop off at The Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool wharf in Woolloomooloo Bay, which is a 3 minute walk to the venue. Selected services will also pick up from Milsons Point Jetty.
After the performance, taxis will recommence for the return trip and make an additional drop-off stop only at Circular Quay. Tickets are $10 each way.
See the full timetable and maps of the drop off and pick up points at h2owatertaxis.com.au
Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is an open-air and all-weather event
The venue, audience seating, and the stage are completely uncovered. The event is an all-weather experience and Opera Australia is committed to going ahead with a performance of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour even in doubtful or unfavourable weather conditions. Please come prepared so that you are as comfortable as possible, and ready to support the performers, who will carry on singing in the rain.
Bring warm and waterproof clothing
Sydney weather is full of surprises so we recommend that you dress with this in mind and bring warm, weatherproof clothing. Please note that although umbrellas can be brought to the venue, out of consideration for other members of the audience they cannot be used during the performance.
Ponchos will be available to purchase at the event for $5.00. We'll be selling the Biowear Eco Poncho. Made of corn, soy, and sunflower starches, these ponchos are biodegradable. Once disposed of, the poncho takes about a year to break down and become a protein of the ecosystem. We'll be donating any profit from the sale of ponchos to Clean Up Australia.
Performance pauses and cancellations
We will only cancel a performance during electrical storms (within 10km radius) or during times of extremely high winds and/or rain. The decision to cancel a performance is not made until 7.30pm or later and a cancellation may be called during the performance. So please plan to travel to the venue for a 7.30pm performance start time even in unfavourable weather conditions.
In some weather conditions Carmen may have a delayed start time or be paused for up to 50 minutes at any point throughout the performance.
Auxiliary expenses including travel, accommodation or hospitality which you have arranged in conjunction with the performance are at your own risk and not refundable by Opera Australia.
The site opens at 5pm. Plan to arrive early and savour a drink and something delicious while you watch the sun set over the harbour.
Five different restaurant and bar areas on site serve a range of foods to suit every appetite and budget, featuring the flavours of Spain’s diverse regions.
The Platinum Club is pop-up dining at its finest: an undercover restaurant and bar with spectacular views overlooking Sydney Harbour. The Club offers sit-down set-menu dining, a buffet, a dessert plate at interval and an interval drink option. Reservations are essential. See the menus on offer
Enjoy the delicious drama of paella cooked right in front of you over open flame. The Northern Terrace offers small bites and salads as well as vegetarian, seafood and chicken paella options. Dine with some of the best views on site as a backdrop. See the menu
Relax over drinks and a wide selection of tapas plates (small dishes of Spanish favourites designed to share). Three dishes start at a set price of $16. See the menu
Cafe-style dining on the waterfront, serving share plates, substantial mains and desserts. See the menu
Qantas Garden Bar
Small bites, street food and drinks beside the sea. See the menu
Sparkling & Oyster Bars
Sweet and savoury delicacies, including oysters and sparkling wine are available from satellite carts throughout the venue. See the menu
Please don't bring a picnic. Only food and beverages purchased on site can be consumed within the venue.
Drink and dine at the Platinum Club at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: an undercover restaurant and bar with spectacular views overlooking Sydney Harbour.
This is pop-up dining at its best: exclusive gourmet menus, table waiters, Tyrrell’s wines and dedicated restrooms.
Celebrate a luxurious evening for two or host an impressive night out with clients at the Platinum Club.
Pre-book your perfect dining experience:
PRE-PERFORMANCE DINNER $245 (from 5.30pm)
Indulge in three courses of mouth-watering Spanish delights, designed and prepared by the Platinum Club’s award-winning chefs. Each course is served with premium Tyrrell’s Wines. View the full menu.
PRE-PERFORMANCE BOQUERIA BUFFET $130 (from 6pm)
Try a bit of everything from a buffet laden with cured and smoked meats, empanada pastries, Spanish salads and delectable sweets. Waiters are on hand to top up your glass of select Tyrrell’s wines. This is a good value option to experience a range of Spanish flavours in the luxury of the Platinum Club. View the full menu.
INTERVAL DESSERT PLATE $60
Make a sweet retreat to the Platinum Club during interval for a delectable spread of Spanish-inspired desserts, paired with a glass of Tyrrell’s sparkling wine. View the full menu.
INTERVAL DRINK $25
Feel like a celebrity as you waltz past the bar queues - you’re heading straight to the Platinum Club. Kick back with a glass of Tyrrell’s wine against the spectacular backdrop of Sydney Harbour. The Platinum Club Bar has an exclusive menu of beverages and snack items available for purchase.
New Bookings: Simply add your dining or drinks selection to your cart after choosing your tickets to Carmen on Sydney Harbour.
Existing Bookings: sign in to your account and go to your 'Upcoming Performances' to add pre-show dining or interval drinks or phone our box office on 02 9318 8200.
Handa Opera in Sydney Harbour has wheelchair locations, companion seats and level access seats available.
Wheelchair accessible seats
Customers requiring wheelchair and/or companion seating should contact the Ticketing Services Office on +61 2 9318 8200, Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm. Wheelchair locations and companion seats are in sections F, G and H, Row JJ.
Level access seats
The best seats for mobility impaired audience members (who are not bound to a wheelchair) are in the first 5 rows of sections A-E. The path to these seats is downhill to seats in row 1 and then up a few stairs to seats in higher rows. On the way out, the path is back uphill and mobility impaired patrons should consider requesting the use of a wheelchair (subject to availability) and assistance in exiting the venue. Wheelchairs provided by Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour will be made available to mobilise patrons around the site, however due to limited availability, cannot be made available for patrons to stay seated in.
If you require the use of a wheelchair, please contact Front of House staff at the Box Office upon your arrival. Please also note that whilst Front-of-House do their very best to move patrons promptly, patrons requiring assistance exiting the venue may experience delays.
Will the performance go ahead if it looks like it’s going to rain?
Yes. This is an open-air venue, with a limited season. We are committed to going ahead with a performance of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour even in doubtful weather conditions. Please bring warm and weatherproof clothing. Read more about our wet weather policy.
Can I bring a picnic to the venue?
No. The Opera on Sydney Harbour venue includes five Fresh Catering dining venues, and like any restaurant, you can't bring your own food and drink.
Fresh Catering Executive Chef Geoff Haviland has developed a Spanish-inspired menu for Carmen. A variety of options will be available across five dining venues, including the Platinum Club, with vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options available.
What happens if I arrive after the performance has commenced (7.30pm)?
For the comfort and convenience of all patrons, latecomers can only be admitted into the outdoor auditorium during a suitable break in the performance. This may not be until the first interval. If a suitable break prior to interval is identified, latecomers may not be seated in their ticketed seats, but in other seating where minimal disruption will be caused to other audience members. This is at the discretion of venue staff.
Ticket refunds or exchanges are not available on the basis of late arrival.
What happens if I arrive late to dinner in the Platinum Club?
Late dinner guests will be served as much of the meal as time allows, subject to arrival time. Guests who arrive later than 6.45pm may not be served, and pre-purchased dining and beverage packages cannot be refunded or exchanged on the basis of late arrival or no-show.
Dessert may be served during interval, however this is at the discretion of our restaurant staff. Beverages during interval are no longer included but will be available for purchase.
What happens if I lose something while I’m at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour?
If you drop something when you are on the grandstand, it is likely the item will slip and fall down below the grandstand.
Please take extra care with your possessions, and if you do drop something, take note of your seat location to help Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour staff retrieve it for you.
You can report lost property at the Information Concierge Desk located in the Qantas Garden Bar, or call Customer Service during business hours on 02 9318 8200.
What should I wear to Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour?
This is an outdoor event so most importantly you should dress for all weather conditions.
There are no rules about what to wear at an opera performance. It's always great fun to dress up for the occasion and make a glamorous night of it, but dressing up is not mandatory.
Is there a cloakroom at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour?
No. There are no cloak room facilities available, so anything you bring will need to be stored under your seat.
Is there an ATM at the venue?
There are no ATMs at the Opera on the Harbour venue. You can pay for food, drinks and merchandise using cash, EFTPOS, and credit card (Visa, Diners, American Express and MasterCard accepted).
Can I buy merchandise and programs at the venue?
Yes. Playbill’s merchandise cart will be selling Carmen t-shirts, mugs and more. They also sell beautiful souvenir programs, designed to increase your understanding and enjoyment of the performance.
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