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.

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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