Open-Air ‘West Side Story’ is Coming to Sydney Harbour

West Side Story - Opera Australia
West Side Story - Opera Australia

1960s New York City will make its way to Sydney next year with Handa Opera’s production of West Side Story

Visitors to Sydney will soon have the opportunity to experience a once in a lifetime musical experience, with the gritty underbelly of 1960s New York City coming to Opera Australia’s famous over-water stage. Leonard Bernstein’s iconic West Side Story will open at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour in March 2019.

With the Sydney Opera House in the distance, the lights of the city all around and the harbour waters lapping at the foot of the stage, audiences will get to witness one of the greatest musicals of the 20th century in a setting unlike any other.

Now in its eighth year, Handa Opera has attracted more than 330,000 visitors from around Australia and across the globe to Sydney Harbour for its productions, offering unique outdoor experience and nightly fireworks in addition to the talent of the world-class performers onstage.

Acclaimed American director and a native of New York City, Francesca Zambello will return to the harbour stage to direct the new adaptation of West Side Story, while award-winning theatrical designer Brian Thomson will invigorate the production’s set with the spirit of New York.

The outdoor stage is two and a half times larger than any indoor Australian stage and will be able to seat approximately 3,000 people. The custom-built site will offer a range of themed dining and drinking options including the Platinum Club – a pop-up dining room, bar and lounge set amongst the treetops. The Platinum Club offers various dinner and show packages as well as the option to be privately booked for groups or corporate entertaining.

To arrive in style, water taxis will be available to pick up at Man o’ War Steps at the Opera House and will drop off at Andrew Boy Charlton pool, just a short walk to the site entrance.

Travel packages are available from a number of tour operators through Qantas Holidays (AU), Qantas Vacations (USA), House of Travel (NZ) and Sofitel Sydney, offering planned itineraries and discounts on accommodation, dining, and other iconic Sydney experiences with the purchase of a show ticket.


West Side Story will run from 22 March to 21 April 2019. Single adult tickets start at $99. Group and concession prices are available for most performances. For more information, contact Opera Australia Box Office at +61 2 9318 8200 or visit

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