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Madama Butterfly – Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

A timeless tale of devotion and despair returns to a truly spectacular outdoor production.
By Alec Jones
February 17, 2023
By Alec Jones
February 17, 2023

in partnership with


The Sydney opera scene is dynamic, with our world-famous Opera House considered the home of opera, but it's not the only place to catch an epic opera in the city. No, some of the most impressive and enchanting performances happen across the water at Mrs Macquaries Point. And it's there that next month you'll find Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, an outdoor waterfront performance with room for additional extravagance.

For the company's next title, it's bringing back a classic show that dates back to the early 20th century, Madama Butterfly. The story is that of Cio-Cio-San, a Geisha living in Japan who falls for a visiting American named Pinkerton. The two have a whirlwind romance that flies to great heights — but crashes and burns as quickly as its takeoff.

It's described as an intimate ode to unrequited love, where devotion is met with disregard and disappointment. All this plays out on a stunning waterfront set, where costume changes, musical numbers and other delights of stagecraft add a new level to an already impressive production.

To elevate one of Australia's most memorable outdoor events into a memorable outdoor evening, you can make use of pop-up bars and eateries that will be dotted along the shoreline of Mrs Macquaries Point and the Fleet Steps. There you can find exclusive and themed menus, VIP dining and a drink selection worthy of the opera. Illuminated by the lights of the harbour, the stage and a final dazzling fireworks display, it will make for a spectacular experience.

Madama Butterfly comes to Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour on Friday, March 24 and plays nightly, 7.30-10.30pm until Sunday, April 23. For more information and to book tickets, visit the website.

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