Sydney Opera Extravaganza

Experience the unique spectacle of the opening night of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour along with other music and opera performances by leading artists and companies.

Revel in Verdi’s operatic masterpiece La Traviata and experience the opening night of one of the world’s most impressive operas on a floating stage. Delight in Bizet’s Carmen and Verdi’s Attila at the Sydney Opera House, both new productions by Opera Australia, as well as a unique gala concert featuring a cast of international singers and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performing Italian opera’s most loved arias.

Be captivated by the music of Avro Pärt and Shostakovich performed by the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and complete your enjoyment of Sydney Harbour with a ferry ride to Cockatoo Island for the Sydney Biennale, the nation’s foremost celebration of contemporary art.

Arrive in Sydney and make your way to the hotel. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements.

Tour arrangements commence at 15:30 with a welcome briefing by your tour leader, Phillip Sametz.

Enjoy a welcome dinner with Phillip and your fellow tour members before this evening’s performance of Carmen at the Sydney Opera House. This vibrant production of Bizet’s most well-known opera features colour and irresistible Spanish sounds under the direction of John Bell, one of Australia’s most acclaimed theatre personalities.


Begin the morning with a pre-performance talk by Phillip. Continue to the Art Gallery of New South Wales and enjoy a guided tour of the museum’s Biennale Festival exhibitions.

After lunch, the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to explore Sydney at your own pace.

This evening, attend a concert in the City Recital Hall by the Australian Chamber Orchestra performing Avro Pärt’s double concerto Tabula Rasa and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony for Strings in C minor.


This morning explore the riches of Opera Australia’s Opera Centre on a guided tour of the company’s vast production workshops. Explore the studios of the milliners, carpenters, cobblers, designers, wig-makers and scenic artists who work to produce the staging of opera performances and see the rehearsal spaces.

Enjoy the afternoon at leisure before attending a performance of Verdi’s Attila at the Sydney Opera House. Be immersed in the world of the ancient Adriatic as Attila, barbarian king of the Huns, is undone by his love for his prisoner, Odabella. Fusing video projections with colossal set-pieces, this co-production between Opera Australia and Milan’s La Scala Theatre is brought to life in fine form.


Begin the morning with a talk by Phillip, before boarding a ferry to Cockatoo Island for a guided tour of the 2020 Sydney Biennale. Indigenous artist Brook Andrew will direct this year’s program, which is titled Nirin, meaning ‘edge’ in the Wiradjuri language. The 2020 Biennale will feature a host of interdisciplinary First Nations artists from across the globe, including Australia’s Tony Albert, Māori multimedia artist Lisa Reihana, South African artist Lhola Amira, and American videographer Arthur Jafa, among with a number of other creatives and collectives.

After some time for lunch and to explore at your own pace, return to Circular Quay.

This evening attend an Italian opera gala performance. Conducted by Donald Runnicles with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the cast features the Australian soprano Siobhan Stagg, Russian mezzo-soprano Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, Australian tenor Samuel Sakker and bass Derek Welton. The program includes arias and chorus works from The Barber of Seville, La Bohème, Rigoletto and The Marriage of Figaro.


This morning enjoy an exclusive guided tour of Vaucluse House, once home to William Wentworth and his family. Be led by an expert guide who will drop the ropes of the museum to view up close seldom-seen treasures from the collection, before stepping in to the rarely-opened Wentworth Mausoleum to see the influential explorer and politician’s final resting place.

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure, and then join Phillip and fellow tour members for a special dinner at the Andrew “Boy” Charlton Pool overlooking the harbour. After dinner, attend the opening night of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s performance of La Traviata. Experience Verdi’s arguably best-loved opera beneath a glittering crystal chandelier on an extraordinary floating stage, together with a fireworks display after the performance.


Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast.

Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements, including any additional nights’ accommodation, either before or after the tour.


Per person, twin-share

AUD 4,750

Single supplement*

AUD 995

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 750

* Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.

Room category upgrade available on request; please enquire with us.

Final payment due

23 January 2020

Tour code


Fitness level

Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness level definitions.

Suggested airline

Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.


New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa to visit Australia.

Tour price includes

  • Five nights’ accommodation in a luxury five-star harbourside hotel, with breakfast daily (B)
  • Premium category tickets for the opening night of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s La Traviata and all other included performances
  • Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wine with meals
  • Comfortable air-conditioned coach transportation throughout
  • Comprehensive sightseeing including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Lectures and talks with your tour leader, Phillip Sametz
  • Gratuities for local guides and drivers
  • Hotel porterage (one piece per person)

Tour price does not include

  • Airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
  • Airport/hotel transfers and arrival on departure
  • Airport porterage
  • Items of a personal nature (e.g. telephone, laundry, room service, minibar, taxis etc.)
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)


Your hotel

Sydney – The Four Seasons *****
The Four Seasons enjoys a spectacular location next to Circular Quay, the very hub of Sydney Harbour, within easy walking distance of the Sydney Opera House and other iconic institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art and the historic Customs House. Rooms offer views of the city or the magnificent harbour itself, and the hotel boasts all the features that define five-star luxury accommodation, including 24-hour in-room dining, pool, spa and WiFi in all rooms.

N.B. A hotel of a similar standard may be substituted.