For less than the price of a cinema ticket, if you happen to be a student, you can score yourself a seat at the Sydney Opera House and let the melodies of Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and other classical composers waltz with your senses and sweep you off your feet. Because that is the effect Sydney's Symphony Orchestra playing in the Opera House will have on you, even if you are a complete classical music novice like me.
A late night text from my friend read: "Handel's Water Music: Baroque Grandeur, buying tix tonight- want one?"
I did and the next evening we were taking our seats with a perfect view of the entire orchestra before us, in their elegant suits and evening gowns, instruments poised and ready. The music was sublime and soaring; it felt like we had indeed been transported to 18th century England and were joining the King on his trip down the Thames. There were solemn, grand pieces and other more energetic and playful ones; enough variety to keep the seven year old two seats down from us engaged. It was also fun being initiated into the collective etiquette governing concerts like this: the way everyone seems to hold in their coughs and sneezes until an interval in the performance, when a burst of sneezing and wheezing ripples around the hall, and the way applause seems to continue in rounds with the conductor disappearing and reappearing (with flowers) and various members of the orchestra taking bows.
Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House
When you finally emerge with the music still filling your senses to a glittering Sydney Harbour, you will probably be thinking what a great city you live in. And how you managed to live here so long without doing something most tourists do on their first day- actually watch a show at the Opera House.
If you are no longer a student but happen to be under 30, do not despair- you still have access to $30 tickets, a bargain considering premium seats go for as much as $120 at these concerts. You can sign up here.