La Bohème announced as 2018 Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

OA Fireworks at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour Aida 2015 - photo by Hamilton LundContinuing its hugely successful Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour series, Opera Australia has announced a new three-year agreement with Destination NSW – commencing in 2018 with Puccini’s much-loved La Bohème.

With its reputation as one the world’s great outdoor opera events well and truly established after six incredibly successful years, Opera Australia has welcomed the NSW Government’s ongoing support and commitment to Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.

Described as one of the top four opera open-air events in the world by Signature Luxury Travel and Style magazine, the annual event is a highlight of the Australian cultural calendar, attracting more than 250,000 attendees from around Australia and across the globe over the past six years.

Opera Australia expects the 2018 season will continue that successful run, with Puccini’s La Bohème known as one of the world’s all-time favourite operas, and the inspiration behind Moulin Rouge and the musical Rent.

Andy Morton, who attracted great acclaim this year for his hugely successful revival of Gale Edwards’ Carmen, will direct this highly anticipated, new production. Andy has worked on the past five Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour productions and this will be his first time at the reins of a new, harbour show.

Legendary conductor Brian Castles-Onion will again take up his position under the stage, leading the Opera Australia Orchestra. Opera Australia also welcomes the return of celebrated set and costume designer Dan Potra who worked his magic on Opera Australia’s 2016 outdoor productions, Turandot on Sydney Harbour and Sydney Opera House – The Opera.

Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini is thrilled ‘his brain-child’ has gone on to become such a success. “Watching this production evolve over the past six years has certainly been an exciting time. To see all the elements come together so spectacularly each year and to see how much joy it brings to the audiences, who have really taken it to their hearts, it’s been incredibly satisfying,” Mr Terracini said.

“It’s no wonder the event has become such a hit with locals and tourists alike. With its harbour-side setting, spectacular views of the famous Sydney skyline, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, along with a monumental set, stunning costumes, world-class performers and a nightly burst of fireworks, it’s an unforgettable experience.”

NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said, “Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is one of the State’s great major event success stories, attracting new audiences to opera and visitors to NSW each year,” said Mr Marshall. “The event has become revered as one of the world’s greatest outdoor operas, with more than 57,000 domestic and international overnight visitors travelling to Sydney to enjoy this spectacular event since 2012.”

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: La Bohème will run from 23 March to 22 April 2018. Tickets go on sale on Thursday 29 June 2017. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Fireworks at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: Aida 2015 – photo by Hamilton Lund