Bull fighters, civil war and fireworks will grace Opera Australia's floating stage.

Opera Australia is going back to where it all began for their annual outdoor opera extravaganza. What was first seen as a bold, expensive experiment in 2013, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour has now become an international tourist icon, drawing crowds from all over the world to experience the grandeur of opera in the grandest of locations.

Georges Bizet's famous opera Carmen is the perfect fit for such a lavish spectacle — love, treachery, civil war and two of the best-known of all opera arias, portrayed with a realism and intensity that remains affecting and bracing nearly 150 years after it was written.

On-stage a world-class cast of singers, dancers and physical performers (plus a nine-metre-high Hollywood-style sign spelling CARMEN) will bring to life the torrid world of Franco-era Spain, accompanied by a full chorus and orchestra (and, at times, fireworks). The offstage offerings only add to the spectacle, with five dining areas, including a tapas bar, a paella bar, a Spanish cantina and The Platinum Club, where you can book in for a sit-down three-course meal. They'll host some 3000 audience members, who will come from far and wide to see a highlight of Sydney's cultural calendar in its sixth year each night.

Image: Prudence Upton. 

Published on March 24, 2017 by Hugh Robertson

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