COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update
Following advice from the government on COVID-19 (coronavirus), we have cancelled all performances of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour — La Traviata.
If you have tickets to a cancelled performance, you'll receive an email with details about how to refund or exchange your tickets.
Updated Monday 16 March 2020
Raise your glass, flutter those lashes. He’s staring at you, he’s singing for you… Are you tempted?
Violetta is the life of every party. A courtesan with a heart of gold, she’s free and free-spirited. Could a little love change everything?
Experience the joy and heartache of the world’s most popular opera at Sydney’s best night out. Fireworks light up the sky at every performance. A giant chandelier shimmers over the harbour stage. Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is “the ultimate Sydney experience” (Yahoo! Travel).
In 2020, we present La Traviata: the story that inspired Moulin Rouge.
Arrive early to enjoy drinks or dinner at one of the five pop-up bars and restaurants on site. Drink in the view as the setting sun glimmers over the city skyline. Then take your seats in the comfortable grandstand to enjoy “a ravishing visual spectacle” (Huffington Post).
The 3.5-tonne chandelier sparkles with 10,000 crystals. The biggest scenes feature 80 performers on stage and party boats in the harbour.
Verdi’s score offers flying melodies, rousing drinking songs and heartbreaking duets. Brian Castles-Onion conducts the opera, with a live orchestra hidden under the stage.
Fireworks during a performance of West Side Story on Sydney Harbour in 2019. Photo by Hamilton Lund
Please purchase your tickets through authorised ticket sellers, who include Opera Australia, Sydney Opera House, Ticketmaster & TodayTix. Opera Australia will cancel any tickets that we can identify have been purchased through unauthorised sellers for more than 10% above their original cost. Unauthorised sellers include but are not limited to Viagogo, Ticketmaster Resale, eBay and Gumtree. Find out more.
La Traviata on Sydney Harbour in 2012
Watch the trailer for La Traviata
See the costume designs for La Traviata on Sydney Harbour
|Based on an original production by||Francesca Zambello|
|Set Designer||Brian Thomson|
|Costume Designer||Tess Schofield|
|Lighting Designer||John Rayment|
|Sound Designer||Des O'Neill|
|Assistant Directors||Warwick Doddrell|
Stacey Alleaume (27, 29 March; 1, 3, 5, 8, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25 April)
|Jessica Nuccio (28, 31 March; 2, 4, 7, 9, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26 April)|
Rame Lahaj (27, 29 March; 1, 3, 5, 8, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25 April)
|Paul O'Neill (28, 31 March; 2, 4, 7, 9, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26 April)|
Michael Honeyman (27, 29 March; 1, 3, 5, 8, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25 April)
|José Carbó (28, 31 March; 2, 4, 7, 9, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26 April)|
|Flora Bervoix||Dominica Matthews|
|Baron Douphol||David Parkin|
|Marquis D'obigny||Graeme Macfarlane|
|Doctor Grenvil||Christopher Hillier|
Running time: approximately 2 hours & 35 minutes, including one interval.
Performed in Italian with English and Simplified Chinese surtitles.
Strategic and Government Sponsor
Dr Haruhisa Handa
Official Airline Partner
Opera Australia Government Partner
“Only Sydney could host a night as gaudy and delicious as this.”
— Sydney Morning Herald
“Start your bucket list again and put this at the top”
— Australian Traveller
Violetta has been to a sanatorium to treat her tuberculosis. On her return to health she throws a party to mark her re-emergence in the demi-monde under the protection of Baron Douphol. Her guests have just completed a long lunch and the Baron is reading the last pages of a novel by Dumas to Violetta when Flora, a rival courtesan, enters with her protector the Marquis.
Alfredo is introduced to Violetta by the decadent Gaston. Alfredo has begged Gaston to introduce him to Violetta. He has long been enthralled by her and has enquired after Violetta every day of her illness.
Violetta insists that everyone sits together and drinks a toast to the occasion. Alfredo is prevailed upon to sing a drinking song from Provence.
As the guests leave to dance in the ballroom, Violetta feels faint and is momentarily left alone. Alfredo re-enters and confesses his love for her. She asks him to return the following day.
After her guests leave and she is alone, Violetta begins to consider the conflicting feelings of love and hedonism that are pulling her in opposite directions.
Violetta and Alfredo have been living together for three months in a house in the country. When Alfredo discovers that Violetta is selling her belongings to pay for their expenses, he is conscience-stricken and leaves to visit his father, to raise some money. His father, however, has decided to call on Violetta to persuade her to give up Alfredo. Alfredo’s sister hopes to be married soon, and his relationship with Violetta jeopardises the family’s honour. Violetta realises that as a ‘fallen woman’ she would destroy Alfredo’s family and consents to leave him. She decides to leave instantly and writes a message to Alfredo, breaking off their affair. When Alfredo receives the message he is distraught and, despite his father’s attempts to console him, rushes off to wreak revenge on Violetta.
A party is being held in Flora’s house. Alfredo enters to join the gambling party. When Violetta enters on the arm of the Baron she freezes with tension. Alfredo begins to insult the Baron and the two rivals meet over cards, and Alfredo, unlucky in love, cannot lose a hand. The game is interrupted by dinner.
Violetta begs Alfredo to leave before Douphol seeks revenge. Alfredo insists she comes with him and, in desperation, she says she loves the Baron. Alfredo publicly humiliates Violetta and throws money at her as payment for her services. Alfredo’s father reproves him for such behaviour.
It is early morning and Violetta is sleeping. The doctor has given her only a few hours to live. Violetta rereads a letter from Alfredo’s father, telling her that the Baron was wounded in the duel with Alfredo and that Alfredo may have left the country.
But Alfredo has been told by his father of Violetta’s sacrifice and he returns — only to be confronted by the dying Violetta. He humours her by telling her that they should plan a new life away from Paris. Alfredo’s father has followed him and enters, followed by the doctor. Violetta suddenly feels revived, ready to start a new life with Alfredo — but this is only the symptom of the last moments of her disease and she falls dead.
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.
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 transportnsw.info.
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.
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.
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.
The Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour shuttle bus departs from the ground floor of the Domain Car Park and is wheelchair accessible.
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.
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 we are committed to going ahead with a performance of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour – La Traviata 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. 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. We will not cancel a performance until 7:30pm or later. We may decide to cancel a performance once the show is underway. Please plan to travel to the venue for a 7:30pm performance start time even in unfavourable weather conditions.
In some weather conditions, we may delay the start time of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour or pause 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 Opera Australia cannot refund these.
Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour has wheelchair and companion seating allocations available.
Customers requiring the wheelchair and/or companion seating should contact the Opera Australia customer service team on 02 9318 8200, Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm. Wheelchair and companion seating can only be booked over the phone.
The best seats for persons with limited mobility who are not wheelchair users are in the first 5 rows of sections A–E.
When patrons enter the venue via 'Entry (Sections A–E)' they will walk downhill to their seats and then up a few stairs to seats in higher rows if seats are not booked in row A. Upon exiting the venue, the path is uphill and persons with limited mobility may consider requesting the use of a Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour wheelchair and assistance if required
Assistance animals trained to assist people with disability are welcome at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour. Please phone our box office on 02 9318 8200 to make your booking so we can allocate you appropriate seating.
Guests who are blind or with low vision
Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour have a dedicated relaxed performance which is also audio-described. Audio-described bookings can only be made through Opera Australia by calling the Box Office in Sydney on 02 9318 8200 or by emailing email@example.com.
The performance is sung in Italian with English surtitles and simplified Chinese surtitles.
Patrons requiring a wheelchair should make contact with the onsite Box Office who will arrange for a transfer to allocated seating by wheelchair.
There is a lift available for wheelchair users or people with limited mobility.
The lift provides access from Ground level (bottom of the grandstand) to level 1 (Travel Associates Platinum Club) and Level 2 (Northern Terrace and upper Grandstand).
Refer to Access Guide which includes venue step count and surface description to assist with choosing your seats.
The Wednesday 22 April 2020 performance is a designated relaxed performance. There are no significant differences to the production however we aim to provide a more relaxed environment across the venue.
A relaxed performance is designed to ensure any person with disability and their families, or anyone who may benefit from a more relaxed environment, can more fully enjoy the performance experience together. This can include people on the autism spectrum, anyone with sensory, communication and cognitive considerations, families*, or any individual who prefers to watch the performance in a more flexible / relaxed setting. Anyone can benefit.
Guests can come and go from their seats during the performance to make the evening more accommodating for persons with disability and their families.
A Social Story pdf guide with performance timings, detailed descriptions and images of the venue will be available in the near future if you’d like to be more informed about what to expect when you visit.
Two ‘Quiet Spaces’ are available if a break from the show is needed. Download the venue map (pdf) to see all 'Quiet Space' locations.
This performance will be audio-described. Audio-described bookings can only be made through Opera Australia by calling the box office in Sydney on 02 9318 8200 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sung in Italian with English and Simplified Chinese surtitles.
Opera Australia would like to thank Vision Australia and Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) for their assistance in making this accessible performance possible.
* Note: see Opera Australia’s terms and conditions for the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour terms and conditions on children attending.
Drink and dine at the Travel Associates 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 Travel Associates Platinum Club.
Pre-book your perfect dining experience:
PRE-PERFORMANCE DINNER $225 (from 5:30pm)
Indulge in three courses, designed and prepared by the Travel Associates 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.
PRE-PERFORMANCE TASTING BUFFET $130 (from 6pm)
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 mains and delectable desserts. Waiters are on hand to top up your glass of select Tyrrell's wines. View the full menu.
PRE-PERFORMANCE or INTERVAL DRINK VOUCHER $25
Feel like a celebrity as you waltz past the bar queues — you’re heading straight to the Travel Associates Platinum Club bar. Redeem your drink voucher for a glass of Tyrrell's wine and enjoy the spectacular backdrop of Sydney Harbour in the Travel Associates Platinum Club lounge. Choose Travel Associates Platinum Club access before the performance or at interval (or both!).
INTERVAL MACARON TASTING TRIO $49
Let the simple art of macarons take you on a journey of flavours. The macaron was invented in Italy, evolved in France and is now popular around the world. With its endless flavour options we have created the perfect trio.
Enjoy your dessert during an extended interval at the Travel Associates Platinum Club — our undercover pop-up bar and restaurant with stunning views of Sydney Harbour and surrounds. View the full menu.
New Bookings: Simply add your dining or drinks selection to your cart after choosing your tickets to La Traviata 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.
Opera Australia is the primary ticket seller for La Traviata on Sydney Harbour. We have also authorised other ticket sellers (including Sydney Opera House, Ticketmaster, TodayTix).
Opera Australia will cancel any tickets that we can identify have been purchased through unauthorised sellers for more than 10% above their original cost. Unauthorised sellers include but are not limited to Viagogo, Tickets Australia, Ticket Merchant, Ticket Blaster, TicketBis, Ticketmaster Resale, Queen of Tickets, eBay or Gumtree.
If you attend an event with such a ticket, we will not admit you into the venue. We will also void forged and fraudulent tickets (for example, where multiple copies have been made of the same tickets).
There are an increasing number of unauthorised ticket resellers operating online. We don’t want anyone to have a nasty surprise, so if you have any questions or concerns about the validity of your tickets or the authorisation of your ticket seller, please contact us on 02 9318 8200 or email email@example.com.
You can also find detailed information about unauthorised ticket sales on the NSW Fair Trading website