Sydney Theatre and Opera Weekend

Experience the unique spectacle of Opera Australia’s West Side Story on Sydney Harbour along with music, opera and theatre by some of Sydney’s leading artistic companies.

Begin with Leonard Bernstein’s iconic West Side Story, a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in 1950s New York, recreated on the Sydney Harbour stage and featuring Jerome Robbins’s original choreography. Enjoy a rare organ recital by star organist and composer David Drury in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall of music by Bach and Saint-Saëns, and a performance by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with Dutch soloist Simone Lamsma.

Cap off your long weekend in the ‘Harbour City’ with Pinchgut Opera’s much-anticipated performance of Bach’s Easter Oratorio accompanied by Telemann’s, Thunder Ode, in the City Recital Hall, and a Bell Shakespeare theatre production of The Miser, starring Australia’s pre-eminent stage actor, John Bell OA.

Arrive in Sydney and make your way to the hotel for check-in. Tour arrangements commence at 15:30 with a welcome briefing and pre-performance talk by your tour leader Mary Jo Capps.

Enjoy a special welcome dinner at the Andrew “Boy” Charlton Pool overlooking the harbour, before this evening’s performance of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour – West Side Story, an invigorating musical production with Francesca Zambello directing Leonard Bernstein’s pulsating score. Taking inspiration from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the musical highlights the tense relationship of two rival teenage gangs of different ethnicities in a New York City neighbourhood of the 1950s.

Return transfer to the hotel after the performance.


This morning, attend an organ recital by organist and composer David Drury in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House, followed by an afternoon at leisure.

This evening, return to the Opera House to attend a performance of Bell Shakespeare’s The Miser in a wickedly irreverent take on the well-known satire by French playwright Molière. Bell Shakespeare’s founder, John Bell AO, will be playing the titular role of the miserly Harpagon.


This morning, join Mary Jo and fellow tour members for a pre-performance talk on the upcoming Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Pinchgut Opera performances. Then, transfer by ferry across the harbour to Manly for a curator-led tour of the collection of the Manly Art Gallery. Then enjoy lunch at the Manly Pavilion restaurant, housed in a heritage listed-building with stunning views over the harbour. After lunch, enjoy some free time in Manly before returning to central Sydney by ferry at your leisure.

This evening, return to the Opera House for a concert by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, performing Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F minor and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major. Tonight’s concert features Dutch violinist Simone Lamsma, whose repertoire includes over 60 violin concertos performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras.


The morning is at leisure, with the opportunity to explore The Rocks Markets, one of Sydney’s most vibrant markets surrounded by historical laneways. Then enjoy a special farewell lunch with Mary Jo and fellow travellers at the iconic Café Sydney.

In the late afternoon, transfer by coach to the City Recital Hall to attend Pinchgut Opera’s performance of Bach’s Easter Oratorio and Telemann’s Thunder Ode, which will be conducted by Erin Helyard. Bach composed and first performed Easter Oratorio in Leipzig in 1725 while Telemann’s Thunder Ode was inspired by the devastating earthquake in Lisbon in 1775.


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/double from

AUD 3,850

Single supplement* from

AUD 750

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 750

Final payment due

04 February 2019

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

  • Four nights’ accommodation in a centrally-located luxury 5-star hotel, with breakfast daily (B)
  • Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wine
  • Premium category tickets for Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s West Side Story and all other included performances
  • Talks and discussions with your tour leader, Mary Jo Capps
  • Comprehensive sightseeing including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Transportation on comfortable air-conditioned coaches
  • Gratuities for local guides and drivers

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 including telephone, laundry, taxis, minibar, room service 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 offers views of the city of Sydney or the magnificent harbour itself, and the hotel boasts all the features that define 5-star luxury accommodation, including 24-hour in-room dining, pool, spa and WiFi or cable internet in all rooms.

NB. A hotel of a similar standard may be substituted.