With its spectacular Opera House, Sydney can already consider itself one of the world's foremost hubs of opera. This status will be cemented when the city plays host to a unique spectacle in March, when Handa Opera on the Harbour comes to town for three weeks.
The ambitious project will see a 25-metre stage erected on the waters of Sydney Harbour, complete with an orchestra pit beneath the water line. The star of the stage will undoubtedly be the enormous crystal-encrusted chandelier that will be suspended above the stage. The chandelier measures in at 9-metres high and 9-metres wide and will include 10,000 Swarovski Elements crystals.
The opera that is playing host to this wonderful setting is Giuseppe Verdi's masterpiece La Traviata. The story follows courtesan Violetta and her tumultuous relationship with the besotted Alfredo. The work contains many memorable arias including Act I's Sempre Libera, which will be made all the more memorable as this production will see the aria climax with fireworks in the night sky, with the Sydney Opera House providing a picturesque backdrop.
A 3000-seat grandstand will be erected at Mrs Macquarie's Point in The Domain and will include lavish hospitality sections. This is sure to be an event not to be missed, and with the project costing upwards of $12 million you can be certain that it will be the grandest of evenings.
The work will be directed by Francesca Zambello who has amassed several awards for her work in theatre, film, musical theatre and opera. The set has been designed by acclaimed set designer Brian Thomson who has previously designed sets for the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the closing ceremony of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games and the opening ceremony of the 2003 Rugby World Cup.