Sydney Spectaculars – Season 2017!

Want to see Sydney in all it’s glory? Check out our 2017 season of ‘Sydney Spectaculars’! Here is what is happening so far this year:

26 January 2017 – Australia Day In Sydney

A day to celebrate the cultures of the Australian continent with many events throughout the day from indigenous ceremonies and cruise ship appearances to concerts and wheelchair races – this is the day Sydney shines. This year will feature 2 pyrotechnic displays – one at Darling Harbour & the other at Circular Quay –  as well as possibly the lighting of the Sydney Opera House & the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons in green & gold for the 1st time in the event’s history! If you’re not in Sydney, you can watch ‘Australia Day 2017 – Live At Sydney Opera House’ (which will feature the Circular Quay fireworks) live on Channel Ten/WIN from 7:30pm AEDT* on Australia Day!

27 January–12 February 2017 – Chinese New Year Festival 

Projections on the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons & the Australian National Maritime Museum will be a new feature for this year’s Chinese New Year Festival while the Sydney Harbour Bridge & Opera House as well as many other local landmarks will continue to be illuminated in red during the first 3 days of the Festival similar to last year. A fireworks display on the 27th of January in Farm Cove will coincide with the switching on of the red lighting of the iconic Sydney structures to welcome in the Year Of The Rooster!

25 March 2017 – Earth Hour

Created in Sydney a decade ago, Earth Hour now occurs around the world. This ‘spectacular’ sees the lights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge & the Sydney Opera House turn off for 1 hour to convey a practical message on the environment. Head down to the Sydney Harbour foreshore & have a candle-lit picnic or attend one of the organised Earth Hour events around Sydney! If you’re not in Sydney, participate at home by turning your lights off for 1 hour at 8:30pm!

24 March to 23 April 2017 – Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour: Carmen

A temporary open air opera theatre on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour with the iconic view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge & the Sydney Opera House in the background. With dazzling sets, a performance worthy of a standing ovation & a spectacular fireworks display to top it off, this is a once in a lifetime experience for anyone but spaces are limited so book your tickets now!

7 to 13 May 2017 – United Nations World Road Safety Week

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is lit up with yellow light emitting diodes (LED) for United Nations World Road Safety Week!

26 May to 17 June 2017 – Vivid Sydney

Famous for their Sydney Opera House projection shows, the LED show on the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as the many projection shows and light displays on the Light Walk, Vivid Sydney is now just as big as Sydney NYE.  Also featuring live music & creative industry events, this is a once in a lifetime experience for anyone from outside of Sydney.

From 28 June 2017 – Badu Gili

A new experience that will light the Sydney Opera House’s famous sails every evening in celebration of the rich history & contemporary vibrancy of Australia’s 1st Nations culture.

You can download the official Badu Gili soundtrack by clicking here.

18-19 October 2017 – Sydney Opera House Diwali Spectacular (To Be Confirmed)

Watch the Sydney Opera House light up in yellow/orange/golden colours to celebrate Diwali!

11 November 2017 – Remembrance Day

See the Sydney Opera House be covered in poppies (To Be Confirmed) as New South Wales remembers their Australian soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

25 November 2017 to 25 December 2017 – Sydney Christmas

Featuring projections on St Mary’s Cathedral & lighting on the Sydney Town Hall & other various city structures, Sydney Christmas brings the spirit of Christmas to Sydney in truly spectacular style. Check out the lighting ceremony of the massive interactive Christmas Tree in Martin Place, which features fireworks, for a truly magical night! Maybe Santa Claus will turn up?

31 December 2017/1 January 2018 – Sydney New Year’s Eve

 

 

 

The grand finale of ‘Sydney Spectaculars’ – the original, biggest & best – Sydney New Year’s Eve, the world’s biggest annual & most technologically advanced fireworks displays in the world! Without a doubt, this is a once in a lifetime experience for anyone from outside of Sydney.

That is all?

No! Many other ‘Sydney Spectaculars’ may occur throughout the year such as more Sydney Opera House & Harbour Bridge pylon projection shows but these other ‘Sydney Spectaculars’ are usually announced with short notice so keep an eye out on our blog if one gets announced unexpectedly.

I cannot visit Sydney to see a ‘Spectacular’ fireworks display. Can I see a non-‘Spectacular’ fireworks display on Sydney Harbour on another day?

Yes! Pyrotechnic displays frequently occur on Sydney Harbour so check our countdowns on the side of our blog to check when the next one is & where the most iconic view of the display is!

*Check your local guides for broadcast times outside of New South Wales.

Sydney Spectaculars – Season 2016!

Want to see Sydney in all it’s glory? Check out our 2016 season of ‘Sydney Spectaculars’! Here is what is happening so far this year:

26 January 2016 – Australia Day In Sydney

A day to celebrate the cultures of the Australian continent with many events throughout the day from ocean swims and indigenous ceremonies to concerts and wheelchair races – this is the day Sydney shines. This year will feature 3 pyrotechnic displays (the most since 1989) at locations around Sydney Harbour such as Darling Harbour, Circular Quay & off Bradley’s Head. If you’re not in Sydney, you can watch ‘Australia Day 2016 – Live At Sydney Opera House’ (which could feature the Circular Quay fireworks)live on Channel Ten from 7:30pm AEDT* on Australia Day!

5 February 2016 To 5 March 2016 – Month Of Love

‘Loved-Up’ Fireworks light up Darling Harbour every Saturday night while events with a love theme make the month-long event ‘lovely’ in Darling Harbour!

6–21 February 2016 – Chinese New Year

In an historic first, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay Railway Station, Sydney Town Hall and the Capitol Theatre will all be illuminated red to mark Chinese New Year and to welcome the Year Of The Monkey. Check out the new ‘Lunar Lanterns’ placed around the city too. A small fireworks display on 6 February near Dawes Point will coincide with the switching on of the red lighting of the iconic Sydney structures to welcome in the new Chinese year!

19 March 2016 – Earth Hour

Created in Sydney, Earth Hour now occurs around the world. This ‘spectacular’ sees the lights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House turn off for 1 hour to convey a practical message on the environment. Head down to the Sydney Harbour foreshore and have a candle-lit picnic or attend one of the organised Earth Hour events around Sydney! If you’re not in Sydney, participate at home by turning your lights off for 1 hour at 8:30pm!

24 March 2016 to April 24 2016 – Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour: ‘Turandot’

A temporary open air opera theatre on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour with the iconic view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House in the background. With dazzling sets, a performance worthy of a standing ovation and a spectacular fireworks display to top it off, this is a once in a lifetime experience for anyone but spaces are limited so book your tickets now!

27 May 2016 to 13 June 2016 – Vivid Sydney

Famous for their Sydney Opera House projection shows, the LED light show on the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as the many projection shows and light displays on the ‘Light Walk’, Vivid Sydney is now just as big as Sydney NYE. 2016 will see the introduction of the Royal Botanic Gardens into the festivities for the 1st time as a nod to the 200th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Also featuring live music and creative industry events, this is a once in a lifetime experience for anyone from outside of Sydney.

Darling Harbour usually also features a special pyrotechnic/laser/projection/water show frequently throughout Vivid Sydney but this is not confirmed yet.

2-17 July 2016 – Cool Yule

Darling Harbour transforms into a snowy wonderland while ‘Frosty’ Fireworks light up the night sky each Saturday night!

21 October 2016 – Sydney Opera House Diwali Spectacular

Watch the Sydney Opera House light up in yellow/orange/golden colours to celebrate Diwali!

26 November 2016 to 25 December 2016 – Sydney Christmas/Santa Fest

Featuring projections in Martin Place and on St Mary’s Cathedral & the Sydney Town Hall, Sydney Christmas brings the spirit of Christmas to Sydney in truly spectacular style. Check out the lighting ceremony of the massive interactive Christmas Tree in Martin Place, which features fireworks, for a truly magical night! Maybe Santa Claus will turn up? Darling Harbour also has Christmas-themed events including fireworks as part of their ‘Santa Fest’.

31 December 2016/1 January 2017 – Sydney New Year’s Eve

The grand finale of ‘Sydney Spectaculars’ – the original, biggest and best – Sydney NYE, the world’s biggest annual and most technologically advanced fireworks displays in the world! Without a doubt, this is a once in a lifetime experience for anyone from outside of Sydney.

That is all?

No! Many other ‘Sydney Spectaculars’ may occur throughout the year such as more Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge pylon projection shows but these other ‘Sydney Spectaculars’ are usually announced with short notice so keep an eye out on our blog if one gets announced unexpectedly!

What if there is no ‘Spectacular’ on when I visit?

Pyrotechnic displays frequently occur on Sydney Harbour so check our countdowns on the side of our blog to check when the next one is and where the most iconic view of the display is! Darling Harbour has general fireworks every Saturday night when they don’t have a ‘Spectacular’ on.

*Check your local guides for broadcast times outside of New South Wales.

Iconic Sydney Outdoor Opera To Feature Chinese Subtitles

Sydney’s world-renowned outdoor opera event, Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour, returns in 2016 with Puccini’s Turandot & for the 1st time will feature subtitles in Simplified Chinese.

New South Wales (NSW) Minister For Trade, Tourism & Major Events, Stuart Ayres, said “The addition of subtitles in Simplified Chinese is a significant opportunity to further promote one of the world’s most spectacular outdoor opera events, Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour, to our largest international visitor market, China.”

“Close to 70% of all visitors from China undertake a cultural experience when visiting Australia & featuring subtitles in Simplified Chinese will be a major drawcard for Chinese visitors looking to experience an iconic Australian event in their own language.”

Opera Australia Artistic Director, Lyndon Terracini, said “The extraordinary growth in international visitors, particularly from China, has prompted this innovation for opera in Australia. We believe that Turandot is the perfect production to launch this initiative.”

Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour is a grand cultural event, set against the stunning backdrop of Sydney’s most famous landmarks, the Harbour Bridge & the Opera House.

In 2016, Chinese-born director Chen Shi-Zheng will present a new vision for one of opera’s most loved works, Turandot. Growing up in China, Chen studied traditional Chinese opera & developed a significant reputation as a singer and actor before moving to the United States Of America in 1987.

Set in Imperial Peking, the production will feature an international cast, bold and exotic themes, extravagant dance numbers & powerhouse performances including one of the most famous arias of all time, Nessun Dorma.

Chen Shi-Zheng’s take on Turandot will be one for the history books, with his innate understanding of Chinese & Western artistic approaches combining to deliver an exciting spectacle not to be missed.

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: Turandot will run from 24 March 2016 until 24 April 2016.

Media Release: Destination NSW

Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour 2016 Presents Puccini’s ‘Turandot’

Puccini’s epic fantasy, Turandot, is set to captivate and delight audiences when Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour returns in 2016.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres, said the grand production will be set against the striking backdrop of Sydney’s most famous icons, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

“Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour will return for the fifth consecutive year with this grand cultural event now firmly established as one of the world’s greatest outdoor operas,” Mr Ayres said.

“Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour is a huge success story, introducing a new legion of fans to opera and driving visitation to New South Wales (NSW). This year’s successful season of Aida saw around 20,000 tickets sold to people outside of Sydney – an increase of around 75 per cent on the previous year – a remarkable achievement.”

“The NSW Government, through its’ tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, partnered with Opera Australia in 2012 to establish Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour and we’re delighted to continue this partnership through to 2017.”

Opera Australia Artistic Director, Lyndon Terracini AM (Member Of The Order Of Australia), said director Chen Shi-Zheng will present a new vision for one of opera’s most loved works, with a huge cast, bold and exotic themes, big dance numbers and powerhouse voices including the biggest opera hit of all time, Nessun Dorma.

“For some time I’ve wanted to work with Chen Shi-Zheng. His incredibly rigorous Chinese opera background combined with his work in the West has given him two worlds to draw upon. The result is a unique style, both spectacular and incredibly intense and powerful.” Mr Terracini said.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer, Sandra Chipchase, welcomed the announcement and said that since 2012, Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour has attracted an estimated 37,000 visitors from overseas, interstate and intrastate.

Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour: Turandot will run from 24 March 2016 until 24 April 2016.

Media Release: Minister for Trade, Tourism, Major Events & Sport – Stuart Ayres

‘Aida’ Spectacular An Overwhelming Success For Opera Australia

Opera Australia’s 2015 Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour (HOSH) production has been declared an overwhelming success for the company, firmly cementing its’ place on Sydney’s annual cultural calendar as an iconic, ‘must-see’ signature event.

Now in its’ fourth year, Aida was on track to break all box office records even before Opening Night, having sold more tickets at that point than the entire 2014 season.

With HOSH’s reputation as a world-class production growing each year, Sydneysiders, interstate and international visitors flocked to the event like never before. The result was more than 55,000 seats sold, representing a box office increase of 45%.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres, said “I congratulate Opera Australia on another hugely successful season of this only-in-Sydney event, HOSH.”

“This year, nearly 20,000 tickets were sold to people outside of Sydney – an increase of around 75 per cent on last year – contributing significantly to the NSW visitor economy. The NSW Government is very proud to be partnering with Opera Australia until at least 2017 through our tourism and major events agency Destination NSW to bring this event to Sydney Harbour,” he said.

Opera Australia’s Artistic Director, Lyndon Terracini, said he is thrilled to see his vision reach such a pinnacle both creatively and commercially.

“It’s been so incredibly satisfying to witness the enthusiasm and the critical acclaim this spectacular production has generated. Each year, it manages to exceed our expectations. And extending the season in 2015 allowed us to welcome more people to experience this unforgettable performance in one of the most beautiful settings in the world,” said Terracini.

“I must congratulate director, Gale Edwards, and her creative team including set and costume designer, Mark Thompson, who together delivered a most memorable stage design, giving us an extraordinary addition to the stunning Sydney skyline with our Queen Nefertiti sculpture.”

“And to all the magnificent singers, musicians, dancers and actors from Australia and around the world, heartfelt thanks for embracing HOSH and delivering us such amazing and memorable performances,” he said.

The event’s major benefactor Dr Haruhisa Handa attended a performance of HOSH for the first time in its four-year history, along with special guests Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Mrs Abbott.

“It has been incredibly satisfying to see a performance for the first time. To see first-hand how much work has gone into it, the costumes, the set, the dining areas. And to see so many people coming to enjoy such a wonderful production with some of the finest singers and musicians in the world on this magnificent stage with this incredible backdrop. I am so proud and I congratulate Lyndon Terracini and his amazing team,” said Dr Handa.

The rise in attendance figures for the fourth year in a row shows Opera Australia’s mission to present opera to a broader audience is clearly working, with initial figures indicating that 47% of the audience were seeing an Opera Australia event for the first time.

All aspects of this year’s HOSH experience received great reviews. In particular, the hospitality options have evolved over the years to become a highlight of the event. For Aida the Moroccan themed décor and Fresh Catering’s deliciously inspired menus garnered praise across the board, matched perfectly by Tyrrell’s Wines. The Platinum Club was again a huge success, this year introducing a buffet option alongside fine dining.

Aida was acclaimed by critics as the most spectacular HOSH production to date and has been filmed for cinema, TV and DVD release. It will be released in Australian cinemas in August with a worldwide release scheduled in September (details www.cinemalive.com).

Details of Opera Australia’s 2016 season, including HOSH will be announced in August this year.

Media Release: Opera Australia