Settle in for a night of opera and Spanish delights under the stars with Carmen.
Carmen stamps her feet, tosses her hair and draws you into her world. Men fall instantly under her spell, and once you’ve heard her sultry Habanera, you’ll fall for opera’s favourite femme fatale, too.
Carmen represents Opera Australia’s latest “floating stage” series, set up over the waters in Farm Cove near Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. It will mark the platform for a fully-staged opera with singers and dancers. Running from Friday 24th March to Sunday 23rd April 2017, this pop-up opera house, complete with bars, restaurants and tiered seating is set to blow it’s guests out of the water, pun intended.
With tickets starting from $99, opera lovers are given the opportunity to marvel at a monumental set, complete with vibrant costumes, spectacular dance and a breathtaking display of fireworks.
The cast will be led by Italian born Josè Maria Lo Monaco, one of the leading mezzo-sopranos of her generation, and Australian star Sian Pendry as the exotic Carmen. They will be joined by Spanish tenor Andeka Gorrotxategi and Polish tenor Arnold Rutkowski as the ill-fated Don José and Australian bass- baritones Luke Gabbedy and Michael Honeyman will make for a vibrant Escamillo.
Those looking for dinner and a show are given plenty of options at this years event. For a luxurious experience, try the The Platinum Club. With unrivalled views of the harbour, this undercover restaurant and bar offers a Spanish-inspired menu, table waiters, Tyrrell’s wines and dedicated restrooms. There are several packages to choose from, giving you the ability to stay for a drink or indulge in a multiple course feast with matching wine. For the crème de la crème experience, opt for the pre-performance dinner ($245). You’ll indulge in a three course Spanish inspired menu, designed and prepared by the Fresh Catering’s award-winning chef Geoff Haviland. Complimenting each course are premium Tyrrell’s Wines.
Guests can also dabble in the pre-performance Boqueria Buffet ($130). You’ll be able to try a bit of everything from a buffet laden with cured and smoked meats, empanada pastries, Spanish salads and delectable sweets. Waiters are on hand to top up your glass of select Tyrrell’s wines.
At a slightly more modest cost, guests can also dine on the Northern Terrace. You’ll marvel at the Valencian Paella as it’s cooked right in front of you over an open flame. The Paella Bar offers a choice of roasted vegetable frittata with traditional Sofrito and chickpeas, local fish with mussels, shrimp, calamari, chorizo, beans, garlic, artichoke, smoked paprika and saffron, or Catalan chicken asado with olives, beans, potato and smoked almonds. All this comes served with crusty bread, Andalusian cabbage salad and lemon.
Meanwhile if you meander to the Southern Terrace, you’ll find is an enticing outdoor Tapas Bar. For a fixed price, guests can select from a range of cold and hot tapas prepared to order in a purpose-built kitchen, with dishes ranging from wild mushrooms, patatas bravas, emanadas, calamari, chorizo, chicken wings and pork belly infused with Spanish spices.
At the Northern Cantina will be cafe-style dining on the harbour, serving share plates inspired by the street markets of regional Spain. Guests are able to order their food and sit directly on the waterfront, taking in the full vista of Sydney Harbour, with the Opera House in the background.
On the southern end of the site, the Qantas Garden Bar will offer small bites, street food and drinks beside the water. Purpose-designed to replicate a market stall one would find at the world famous La Boqueria in Barcelona, this bar will feature specific Catalunya street food, known as Coca. These are small pizza-like flatbreads, which have a range of toppings and perfectly represent the flavours of the region. The cocas are finished in a ceramic based deck pizza oven, to impart a light smoky flavour.
Those just looking for something sweet during interval will quickly gravitate towards the dessert plate ($60). In between the sounds of the stirring symphony and elaborate dance, you’ll have access to a spread of Spanish-inspired desserts, paired with a glass of bubbles – guaranteed to tie you over till the very last moment.
The site opens nightly at 5pm, Opera Australia encourages ticket-holders to arrive early to soak up the magic!
Handa Opera on the Harbour: Carmen
When: Friday 24th March to Sunday 23rd April 2017
Where: Farm Cove near Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
Price: Tickets range from $99 t0 $359 for adults
For more information and to buy your tickets, click here