Overtures will echo across Sydney Harbour when the inaugural Opera On Cockatoo Island opens with Georges Bizet’s internationally acclaimed Carmen on 25 November. 

The NSW Government has partnered with Opera Australia to create Opera On Cockatoo Island, a new major cultural event for Sydney that will see the iconic UNESCO World Heritage-listed location host the world’s best operatic productions, with Carmen as its first instalment.

Minister for Tourism and the Arts Ben Franklin said Opera On Cockatoo Island would be a signature Sydney event that provides significant economic benefits for the State.

“Experiencing a world-class production like Carmen against the striking industrial setting of Cockatoo Island with the world’s best harbour views as the backdrop will be a highlight of Sydney’s summer events calendar and a major visitor drawcard,” Mr Franklin said.

“This event will draw an estimated 20,000 visitors to Sydney over the next three years to enjoy opera in this spectacular setting, generating $16 million in visitor expenditure and supporting hundreds of jobs in our creative and hospitality industries. 

 “The NSW Government is committed to delivering world-class events like Opera On Cockatoo Island to achieve our goal of making Sydney and NSW the major events capital of the Asia Pacific.” 

The Opera On Cockatoo Island experience starts and finishes with a leisurely ride on the harbour with the option of arriving early for a tour of the world-heritage listed island, dotted with industrial relics of its ship-building history and architectural remnants of Sydney’s convict past. Or relaxing by the water and indulging in the state’s best food and wine while the sun goes down over the harbour before the curtain comes up.  

Set against the industrial surrounds of Cockatoo Island, with car chases, motorbike stunts and fireworks, this edgy and immersive production of Carmen created by celebrated director Liesel Badorrek and set and costume designer Mark Thompson will open on 25 November 2022.

For ticket information visit www.opera.org.au.