La Bohème on Sydney Harbour 2018


La Bohème on Sydney Harbour 2018

Opera on Sydney Harbour, Fleet Steps, Mrs Macquaries Point

New production
Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

A candle sputters out in the Parisian night. Two hands meet in the dark and four friends’ lives are changed forever.

La Bohème opens your soul to emotions too big for words. The music swells with love, soars in ecstasy, crackles with jealousy and cries with heartache.

Experience the romance of the original bohemian love story at the magnificent Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour. With pop-up bars and restaurants on site, you’ll taste the best of Sydney in a single night out: food, fireworks, singing and spectacle under the stars.

Feel the magic of snow falling on Sydney Harbour (yes, really!) as Puccini's music takes you to a wintry Christmas Eve in Paris. In the snow-kissed city of light, six friends taste love, laughter and the first pangs of loss.

Andy Morton directs two brilliant casts in a new production that places Mimi and Rodolfo's romantic awakening against the political awakening of Paris during the student uprising of the late 1960s. Designer Dan Potra creates the magic of those volatile French streets on stage.

We do not sell tickets through Viagogo

Viagogo is not an authorised agent or reseller for this event. Tickets purchased through Viagogo will be voided. Customers who have purchased tickets through Viagogo will be required to purchase new tickets at the box office to attend the event. We will provide a letter to affected customers outlining that tickets purchased through Viagogo are unauthorised, and this letter can be used to support a refund request to Viagogo, or to dispute the original credit card charge. If you have any questions, please contact us on 02 9318 8200 or email

Conductor Brian Castles-Onion
Director Andy Morton
Assistant Director Sally Hare
Assistant Director Trent Kidd
Set & Costume Designer Dan Potra
Lighting Designer Matthew Marshall
Sound Designer Tony David Cray
Video Designer Marco Devetak
Choreographer Kate Champion
MimÌ Iulia Maria Dan *
  Maija Kovalevska †
Rodolfo Ho-Yoon Chung *
  Paul O'Neill †
Musetta Julie Lea Goodwin
Marcello Samuel Dundas *
  Christopher Tonkin †
Colline Richard Anderson
Schaunard Christopher Hillier
Benoît / Alcindoro John Bolton Wood
Parpignol Simon Gilkes
Officer Douglas McRae
Sergeant James Olds

Opera Australia Chorus

Opera Australia Orchestra

* 23, 25, 28, 31 March; 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21 April

† 24, 27, 29 March; 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22 April

Running time: approximately 2 hours & 40 minutes, including one 40-minute interval.


Strategic & Government Partner

Destination NSW

Principal Patron

IFAC logo

Broadcast Partner

ABC Radio Sydney

Opera Australia Government Partners

Australia Council & Arts NSW logo


The Domain Sydney logo

Opera Australia thanks its partners

Marine Notice SE1803

The storyHide

A poet, a painter, a musician and a philosopher walk into a bar (no really!) to celebrate a sudden windfall in a lean winter. It’s Christmas Eve, and the poet has just felt the first pangs of great love. When a seamstress knocks on his door searching for candlelight, the pair fall in love faster than she can sing “Yes, they call me Mimì...”

Between the ideals of love and art and the cruel realities of cold winters, bitter jealousies and empty pockets, two sets of lovers are trying to find their way.

By the time the curtain falls, you’ll know the answer to an eternal question:

Is love enough?

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is located at Fleet Steps, Mrs Macquaries Point, Sydney.

Venue map (pdf)

Surrounding Area map (pdf)

When walking from the train, bus, or ferry remember that access to the venue via the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney is only possible prior to 6:30pm in March and 6pm in April.

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.

Public transport

When walking from the train/bus remember that access to the venue via the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney is only possible prior to 6:30pm in March and 6pm in April. 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


The Domain Car Park is the closest car park. The car park 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 mobility parking scheme permits are located at the northern end of the ground floor.

You can book a bay at The Domain Car Park before you arrive*. Enjoy a 20% discount when you pre-book online with the promo code OPERAAUS.

There is metered parking along Mrs Macquaries Road, Hospital Road and Macquarie Street. Meters accept cash, credit card or payment by mobile phone.

Art Gallery Road, leading into the venue, is likely to experience traffic congestion. We highly recommend arranging an alternative drop off/meeting point.

* Discount rates only apply when you pre-book online or with the app at The Domain Car Park only. Bookings will need to be made more than 20 minutes prior to entering the car park. Night parking is between the hours of 6pm and 12am. Weekend parking is from 6am–11:30pm. Casual parking rates apply if booking conditions are not met. Click here for a full list of FAQs or contact customer care on 1800 727 546.

Complimentary shuttle bus (wheelchair accessible)

The pre-performance shuttle service starts at 4:30pm and runs on a loop from the Domain Car Park (departing from Sir John Young Crescent on the ground floor) to the venue entrance on Mrs Macquaries Road. The shuttle ride takes approximately 5 minutes, depending on traffic. The pre-performance shuttle bus does not stop at the Art Gallery of NSW.

The post-performance shuttle service starts from 8:45pm and runs until midnight, or until the last patron has left, and stops at both the Art Gallery of NSW and the Domain Car Park.

View shuttle bus drop-off and pick-up points (pdf)

View shuttle pick-up point at the Domain Car Park (pdf)

The Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour shuttle bus departs from the ground floor of the Domain Car Park and is wheelchair accessible.

Water taxi

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. Please note there is a number of stairs leading up from the Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool wharf to the performance venue. 

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.

* This is a latecomers service and will get you to the venue AFTER the start of the performance. Note that patrons arriving late will not be admitted until a suitable break in the performance. This break may not be until interval. Patrons who are late may not be seated in their allocated seat.

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 exchange my tickets?

Yes! You can exchange your tickets up to two working days before the performance you hold tickets to. Opera Australia subscription tickets can be exchanged for free. All other tickets may be exchanged for a fee of $18 per ticket. Exchange fees must be paid at the time of the exchange, and you'll need to pay any difference in price between the original ticket and the new ticket. Sign in to your account and go to 'upcoming performances' to exchange tickets, or see more information about exchanges.

Can I bring a picnic to the venue?

No. The Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour venue includes five Fresh Catering dining venues, and like any restaurant, you can't bring your own food and drink.

Gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian dishes are available from all dining venues on site. See the menus. If you have specific dietary requirements please email and we can organise to have something prepared for you. 

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 or credit card (Visa, American Express and MasterCard are accepted).

Can I buy merchandise and programs at the venue?

Yes. Playbill’s merchandise cart will be selling La Bohème t-shirts, mugs and more. They also sell beautiful souvenir programs, designed to increase your understanding and enjoyment of the performance.

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, premium Tyrrell’s wines, and dedicated restrooms.

Celebrate a luxurious evening for two, have a memorable night out with friends or impress clients at the Platinum Club.

Pre-book your perfect dining experience:

PRE-PERFORMANCE DINNER $245 (from 5:30pm)

Indulge in three courses of exquisite French food, designed and prepared by the Platinum Club’s award-winning chefs. Each course is matched with premium Tyrrell’s Wines.

Dinner is served from 5.30pm, so you can enjoy the sunset as you drink and dine before the show. View the full menu.


Avoid order envy and try a bit of everything from a table laden with haute cuisine, including tapenades, cheeses and expertly prepared market vegetables, classic French mains and delectable desserts. Waiters are on hand to top up your glass of select Tyrrell's wines. View the full menu.


Make a sweet retreat to the Platinum Club during interval for an elegant dessert plate of petit fours, paired with a glass of Tyrrell’s sparkling wine. View the full menu.


Feel like a celebrity as you waltz past the bar queues — you’re heading straight to the Platinum Club bar. Redeem your drink voucher for a glass of Tyrrell's wine and enjoy the spectacular backdrop of Sydney Harbour in the Platinum Club lounge. Choose Platinum Club access before the performance or at interval (or both!).


New Bookings: Simply add your dining or drinks selection to your cart after choosing your tickets to La Bohème 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.

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 and finesse of French cuisine.

Choose from:

The Platinum Club

The Platinum Club is a pop-up undercover restaurant and bar with spectacular views overlooking Sydney Harbour.

Choose from sit-down, set-menu fine dining; a buffet of French specialties including starters, mains and desserts; a dessert platter at interval and an interval drink option. Reservations are essential. See the menus on offer.

Northern Cantina

Cafe-style dining on the waterfront, serving interesting share plates, substantial French mains and delectable desserts. Prices range from $8–26. See the menu.

Northern Terrace

Look out over the best views on site while you dine on a diverse menu of small bites, salads and classic French mains. Prices range from $8–30. See the menu.

Southern Terrace

Sweet and savoury crepes are available at this Latin Quarter-inspired creperie. A range of drinks is on offer, including mulled wine. Prices range from $8–18. See the menu.

Qantas Garden Bar

Keep it simple with a light supper by the sea. The Garden Bar serves Pissaladiere, a Provençale specialty of baked flatbreads with delicious toppings, as well as other small bites and Parisian doughnuts at interval. Prices range from $8–14. 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.

"... one of the best harbourside opera productions since Francesca Zam­bello’s ­inaugural 2012 version of La traviata."

The Australian

Take a photo of your experience at #operaharbour for your chance to win the ultimate opera experience at the Sydney Opera House!

Facebook: Post your photo on Opera Australia’s page for your chance to win

Twitter & Instagram: For your chance to win, tag @operaaustralia in your photo and post to your profile with #operaharbour

More information

Are you a full-time student?With appropriate ID, you can buy a $45* ticket from the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, Opera Australia, or Sydney Opera House box office on the day of performances. The Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour box office opens at noon on performance days (Tuesday–Sunday), the Opera Australia box office opens at 9am (Monday–Friday) and the Sydney Opera House box office opens at 9am every day.

If tickets are available, you’ll be offered the best available seats — that might mean the best in the house, or could mean restricted view.

Looking for other affordable ticket options? Enter the Isaac & Susan Wakil ballot for an opportunity to access $20 tickets.

* At the Sydney Opera House box office, a transaction fee applies.

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