Opera on Sydney Harbour
Opera on Sydney Harbour
5
About
How can one not be taken aback by the sheer beauty of the location of this operatic event? With a unique stage constructed out over the water, the audience is treated to a breathtaking view of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. The specially designed soundshell, in which the musicians play, provides an amazing sound experience that will leave you completely enraptured. Plus, there are budget eating options available as well as high-end, or you can choose to dine in the beautiful Botanical Gardens close by before the show starts.
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The area
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Neighbourhood: Central Business District
The Sydney Central Business District is abuzz with energy. Power brokers run to and from high rise buildings and after-work drink places, high-end shoppers tour venues like the QVB, and fine diners frequent the many celebrity chef restaurants. For a dose of culture, walk to the NSW Art Gallery, or visit the Sydney Museum. To escape the hustle and bustle, reconnect with nature at the Sydney Botanical Gardens or picnic lunch at High Park. No matter your interest, be sure to check the full calendar of events hosted by the city, from the Sydney Festival in January to October’s Good Food Month at Hyde Park.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
81 reviews
Excellent
66
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goblin54
Plymouth, UK243 contributions
Apr 2023
We went to see Madama Butterfly at the Fleet Steps overlooking the harbour. We were fortunate the weather was dry, so got there early and had a snack and drink watching the sunset with a view of the Opera House & Harbour Bridge.
We are not opera buffs, so the opera itself was nothing special for us, although the cast were very good. There are subtitles in English at the base of the stage. The overall experience of watching outdoor with the backdrop of the harbour, the amazing sets and the fireworks, was unique and special.
We had seats in row C, very near the stage, but a bit low to see the harbour backdrop and the rising moon and sun, so I’d suggest seats higher up to get the best views.
We thought getting away at the end would be difficult, but managed to get a taxi after waiting for 5 minutes in the queue, which moved quickly.
Written 5 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AniitaandRay
1 contribution
Mar 2023 • Couples
Impressive modern production — worth seeing even if you are not an opera aficionado as the setting is unique. Sets on barges, cranes moving scenery, orchestra behind the hill. The setting is incredible with views of harbor bridge and opera house. We got drenched walking from opera house when it rained unexpectedly, and there are no covered dinng options except for the very pricey one, so go
In good weather, or have dinner before visiting. That said, if the weather is fine the adjoining botanical garden is fantastic!
Written 3 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grant H
4 contributions
Apr 2022
My wife and i attended Phantom of the Opera across the Easter weekend and cannot recommend this enough. The whole experience and location was worth the ticket price for the performance itself. Ease of early arrival via uber to the door for drinks right on the harbour overlooking the best view in the country was great but then the performance itself was great and ease of departure via water taxi for $10 back to circqular quay was just outstanding. Weather was outstanding as well which for this event is imperative. Highly recommend!
Written 19 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rhea
Mumbai, India1 contribution
Jan 2022
It was an amazing view I had. Mesmerizing! The lights were amazing. I will never forget this experience I had through a virtual tour.
Written 25 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JnVSydney
Greater Sydney, Australia18,314 contributions
Apr 2021
We have been to opera performances and enjoyed them all, so were sceptical in thinking how much better could it be on the harbour. We are so glad we went - the experience was wonderful. The photos were magical, and looked positively photo shopped, the fireworks were extraordinarily beautiful, the performance itself was breathtaking. It was a reasonably still evening and the acoustics were sublime - in fact the whole grandstand, stage and hospitality venues were of the highest calibre - amazing that it is only temporary - truly a purpose built outdoor opera house. Can't wait to next year!
Written 3 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tamara Kennedy
Sydney, Australia3 contributions
Apr 2021 • Couples
I will never forget my 1st night at La Traviata, Opera on the Harbour! The opera is amazing, artists, production and sets are all spectacular. Add to that the beautiful harbour, bridge and opera house back drop and it's sensationa
Written 22 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tony
Tweed Heads, Australia3 contributions
Apr 2021 • Couples
La Traviata on Sydney Harbour was a great night out. The quality of the performers was first class and of course the setting was spectacular. Despite it being a warm day the evening can get rather cool, so warm clothing is recommended. The only negative aspect for me was the closing of the Botanical Gardens gate at 6pm. Why, when it is the most accessible route for many arriving and departing the venue?
Written 2 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alanna G
Sydney, Australia48 contributions
Jun 2019
Amazing show with a beautiful backdrop of Sydney harbour. Book ahead so you can ensure you get good seats to make the most of the scenery.
Written 22 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thomas V
Oakland, CA16,361 contributions
Apr 2019 • Couples
We were lucky to catch a performance of "West Side Story" in good weather. The performance was terrific. The site superb with great views of the harbor. Fireworks. I don't recommend spending the big bucks on the food and drinks package.
Written 25 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CarolDM1900
Montpelier, VT3,350 contributions
Apr 2019 • Couples
We were disappointed on our first visit to Sydney to find the famous Opera House dark. But in the end, seeing "West Side Story" performed by the superb actor-vocalists of the Handa Opera, against the backdrop of sunset following by glittering city lights, more than compensated. This was an unforgettable evening, with the quality of the performance matched only by the beauty of the surroundings.

After this experience, I would go to anything here, but the fact that this season's choice was the modern masterwork by Bernstein as composer, Sondheim as lyricist and Robbins as choreographer made it something special.

However, no matter what's on stage, you'll still have the sun setting over the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge, and the bright lights of skyscrapers reflecting on the water to delight and, if need be, distract. The Opera on Sydney Harbor is NOT TO MISSED if you're visiting at the right time. Best to buy tickets well in advance, online.

It's quick and easy to find your way to the floating stage even if you're a first-time visitor. Just pinpoint "Mrs Macquaries Chair" on a tourist map; the stage is a short distance before it, maybe a 15-20 minute walk across the Botanic Gardens or along the shoreline from the Opera House. The latter route makes it impossible to miss; the former gets a bit complicated due to the winding garden pathways and inadequate signage. But if you leave early enough, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the the lovely gardens and their associated attractions, to include statuary and ponds (where native freshwater eels thrive, getting there by wriggling through wet grass). There are worse ways to spend your pre-theater time.

If you'd like to combine the performance with drinks and/or early dinner nearby, you've got several choices, including two that we visited. The Botanic Gardens Cafe is 5-7 minutes from the entry point to the stage. It's got a large outdoor seating area where you'll see some of the local white ibises hanging around to catch leavings. There's no table service (you have to order at the counter inside) and no water view, and closing this time of year is 5 PM. When we were there around 4:30, it was pretty crowded, not much food was left, and none of the tables outside were being cleaned off as it was near closing time.

Immediately by the stage is the Northern Terrace Restaurant, which opens at 5:30 PM. Come early to get the seats on the top deck overlooking the harbor and you will be treated to a beautiful sunset as well as a birds-eye view of the preparations and pre-performance practice on the stage. Since you can't take photos during the performance, this is your chance to get some pictures of the the cast in costume in last minute prep for the 8 PM performance. We found it lots of fun to peer over the railing and watch all the happenings there while enjoying some pre-show wine and cheese.

At a certain point in this unforgettable musical evening you will be treated to a short fireworks display. We had no idea, and so were simply delighted when the rockets starting bursting in the skies over the harbor. Beautiful!

After the performance, the crowds move slowly, but politely. If you follow people through the Botanic Gardens, you'll come to a street where a line of taxis will be waiting. Or, you can just continue on to the CBD where you'll find buses and the underground. Once gain, the shoreline route is the easiest to follow, and once near the Opera House you'll easily be able to find transportation if you need it.

Highly recommended.
Written 2 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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