La Traviata Returns to Sydney Harbour

Summer Favourite Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour will see the return of Verdi’s La Traviata

March & April 2020

Opera Australia have announced the return of its spectacular production of Verdi’s hugely popular La Traviata to the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour stage in March and April 2020.

2012 cast of Handa Opera's La Traviata. Photo Lisa Tomasetti
2012 cast of Handa Opera’s La Traviata. Photo Lisa Tomasetti

Widely regarded as a signature, not-to-be-missed event on the cultural calendar with Concrete Playground naming it “the best outdoor event to ever be staged in Australia”, this unique experience boasts show-stopping views, world-class performers, fine dining options and nightly fireworks.

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour has attracted more than 400,000 attendees from across Australia and around the globe since it launched its first season with La Traviata in 2012 to great fanfare, marking the beginning of an annual event that gets bigger and better every year.

Director Constantine Costi will take the reins for the first time in 2020 to present La Traviata based on celebrated director Francesca Zambello’s original production, with daring set designer Brian Thomson returning to conjure a new vision of Verdi’s classic, confirming the breathtaking 9 metre high chandelier with its glistening 10,000 crystals will be back to wow the crowds. The choreographer will be Shannon Burns.

Famous for its teary effect on Julia Roberts in the hit film Pretty Woman, La Traviata is the quintessential operatic experience. The show-stopping aria ‘Sempre Libera’ and the legendary drinking song ‘Brindisi’ will be elegantly performed by an exceptional cast and orchestra, and conducted by acclaimed maestro Brian Castles-Onion, also making a welcome return to the overwater stage. La Traviata is also the inspiration for Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge.

Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini is thrilled to have this iconic opera back on the Harbour stage. “Bringing back La Traviata has a sense of nostalgia. This event has come so far in the last nine years and has successfully brought the art of opera to so many new audiences. We are proud of what we have accomplished,” Mr Terracini said.

Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour continues to go from strength to strength. “This event is like no other – combining world-class performances, colourful costumes, majestic sets and exhilarating fireworks with the unbeatable backdrop of Sydney Harbour,” Mr Ayres said. “More than 62,000 tickets were sold for the 2019 Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour production of West Side Story, which is an incredible result.

“It is clear why Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is regarded as a must-see event on our State’s cultural calendar, as it continues to attract audiences from every corner of the globe. I have no doubt the return of the quintessential opera La Traviata will be bigger and better than ever before.”

The custom-built site features an outdoor stage, grandstand seating for nearly 3,000 people, and an impressive range of themed dining and drinking options that make the most of the magnificent harbour views. Guests can enjoy Italian-inspired offerings at a range of bars and restaurants that highlight the spectacular Sydney city skyline. From premium to casual eats, the five different restaurant and bar areas ensure all guests are catered for.

2012 cast of Handa Opera's La Traviata. Photo Lisa Tomasetti
2012 cast of Handa Opera’s La Traviata. Photo Lisa Tomasetti

LA TRAVIATA by Opera Australia

27 March – 26 April 2020
Performed in Italian with English and Chinese subtitles
On Sale from 16 July
Bookings: (02) 9318 8200 or