First published on 21 Oct 2008. Updated on 31 Aug 2010.
Arguably the most famous performing arts venue in the world, the Sydney Opera House is the jewel in Sydney Harbour's crown. The fact that such a visionary building was commissioned in New South Wales in the 1950s is nothing short of a miracle. Since its official opening in 1973, millions of visitors have admired the beloved sails from the outside, and many have taken the one-hour Essential Tour.
But why not be one of the few to take the exclusive Backstage Tour and explore every inch of Jørn Utzon's masterpiece from within? With access into areas normally reserved for stars and their minders, the tour will have you treading the boards of its illustrious stages and sneaking into the dressing rooms of the Concert Hall, Opera and Drama Theatres, Playhouse and The Studio. Or perhaps you want to take on the conductor's baton in the Opera Theatre orchestra pit. Hear about the secrets and stories that go on behind the curtain involving the likes of Pavarotti, Dame Joan Sutherland, Michael Bublé, and other less impressive types such as the Australian Idol crew.
The tour kicks off at 7am and includes a hearty breakfast served in the Green Room. (Time Out insiders' tip: avoid selecting the all-Australian breakfast, unless you don't want to fit in another meal until dinner.) The tours take place in groups of eight only and the two hours go by in a flash.
Sydney Opera House Backstage Tours run daily at 7am. $150 including breakfast (the Green Room is not open on Sun or public holidays). Flat, enclosed rubber soled shoes must be worn. For safety reasons children 12 years and under are not permitted. (02 9250 7250). Bookings essential.
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