Tonight, tonight the world is wild and bright. Going mad, shooting sparks into space!
West Side Story exploded onto Broadway in 1957 in a sensational storm of exuberant dance and wistful romance. It was a phenomenon that never faded, “an incandescent piece of work” (The New York Times).
The landmark musical combined four of the biggest talents on Broadway: Leonard Bernstein’s legendary score, Jerome Robbins’ exhilarating choreography, Arthur Laurents’ powerful book and newcomer Stephen Sondheim’s perfect lyrics.
In 2019, West Side Story takes to the iconic stage at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour. Raise a glass as the sun sets and drink in the view as you share a meal in one of the pop-up bars and restaurants on site. Then sit back to enjoy the enthralling show, complete with live orchestra hidden beneath the dramatic stage and fireworks in the balmy night air.
Encounter the wildness of youth and ecstasy of love as this modern day Romeo and Juliet unfolds under a starlit sky.
On the mean streets of New York's West Side, two rival gangs strut their stuff. But when a Jet falls for a Shark, the stage is set for a rumble. Their wistful love story is studded with infectious songs including 'Somewhere', 'Maria', 'I Feel Pretty', 'America', 'Cool' and of course, 'Tonight'.
As the star-crossed lovers, Maria and Tony, homegrown stars Alexander Lewis and Julie Lea Goodwin reprise the sizzling chemistry of their performances together in The Merry Widow and The Phantom of the Opera.
An all-singing, all-dancing supporting cast takes on Bernstein’s brilliant score and Jerome Robbins’ original electrifying choreography.
Renowned director Francesca Zambello teams up with Brian Thomson and Jennifer Irwin to create a brand new production for the harbour stage.
The Platinum Club
Make your evening extra special — drink and dine at the Platinum Club: an undercover pop-up restaurant and bar with spectacular views overlooking Sydney Harbour. See the menus and more information.
Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: the experience
Watch the trailer for West Side Story on Sydney Harbour
Listen to 'Tonight' from West Side Story
|Set Designer||Brian Thomson|
|Costume Designer||Jennifer Irwin|
|Lighting Designer||John Rayment|
|Maria||Julie Lea Goodwin|
Cast to be announced
Please note: this production contains strong language and adult themes; not recommended for children under the age of 12.
Running time: approximately 2 hours & 30 minutes, including one interval.
Performed in English.
Originally produced on Broadway by Robert E. Griffith and Harold S. Prince.
By arrangement with Roger L. Stevens.
Licensed exclusively by Music Theatre International (Australasia).
All performance materials supplied by Hal Leonard Australia.
Strategic and Government Partner
Opera Australia Government Partner
"There is nothing in the world like Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour"
— Broadway World
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. 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 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.
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 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 post-performance shuttle service starts from 8:30pm 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.
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 opera 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 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 Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour 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.
Handa Opera in Sydney Harbour has wheelchair locations, companion seats and level access seats available.
Wheelchair Accessible Seats
Customers requiring the wheelchair and/or companion seating should contact the Opera Australia customer service team on +61 2 9318 8200, Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm. On arrival at the venue, customers requiring a wheelchair should make contact with the onsite Box Office to make arrangements for a transfer to the seating by wheelchair.
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. When patrons take the 'Entry to seating section A–E' their entrance will be downhill to their seats in row 1 and then up a few stairs to seats in higher rows. On their way out of the venue, the path is uphill and mobility impaired patrons should consider requesting the use of a Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour wheelchair and assistance in exiting 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, 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, 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.
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 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 West Side Story 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.