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Sydney Opera- going solo

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Austin, Texas
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Sydney Opera- going solo

I have never been to the opera, but always thought it would be an interesting venture. I'm visiting Sydney for 6 days at the end of March, so I decided attending the opera is definitely one of my "must do's". You can't beat the Sydney Opera for location!

I'm excited because I subscribed to the Sydney Opera enewsletter and I just saw that Opera on Sydney Harbour (featuring Aida) will be happening when I'm there. SO very cool. There are no seats available yet to non-subscribers, but when they become available, I'm definitely going to try to grab one up.

My one concern is that I'm going to Sydney solo. I travel solo quite a bit so I'm comfortable with doing tours, eating meals, shopping, hiking, etc., solo. But going to the opera by myself feels...lonely...and "too noticeably," solo. I'd like the "whole experience"--dining and drinking nearby-- but, in this specific instance, it feels daunting. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions to try and make it feel less uncomfortable? I'm not as worried about the event itself-- after all, the focus is on the stage, not fellow attendees-- but I guess it's the drinking and dining that worries me. Any suggestions would be truly appreciated!

Edited: 12 August 2014, 16:20
Austin, Texas
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1. Re: Sydney Opera- going solo

To be more specific: I'm guessing about 90 percent of the attendees will be couples. Are there perhaps any restaurants or bars at the opera or nearby where I might be inclined to find more singles or groups hanging out? I'm just trying to locate a place where I might be able to blend a little easier!

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Sydney Opera- going solo

Just received my Opera 2015 programme today, so your post is timely.

Firstly let me allay whatever illusion you may have about the opera being a "90% couples" event, or that anyone would take the slightest notice of whether others around them are solos or part of a couple or group. Neither could be further from the fact.

It doesn't apply to normal operas and it applies even less to the spectaculars beside the Harbour.

I've been a subscriber for years. Sometimes I go with others in our group, other times alone as we don't all take the same operas, change dates to accommodate travel & so on.

I went to Madame Butterfly last year with two friends & it was a fabulous night of conviviality, sharing tables along the waterfront & under the trees of the Japanese village that had been created to complement the set. These are very informal events, with bars & food outlets near the seating stands, tables often shared with others, either standing or sitting. It is perfectly normal, to share a table & a chat with people next to you in the food & drink queues, seated next to you between Acts.

Aida will be sumptuous and I encourage you to go. It will be a memorable night in our beautiful city for you. We may even be there the same night!

Sydney/Melbourne
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3. Re: Sydney Opera- going solo

We always go to Handa Opera and after the first year we stay away from the food and drink outlets at the event - for us they are overpriced and of very poor quality.

Normally we stop at the Opera Bar or the Opera Kitchen (in the forecourt of the Opera House), have a few drinks and an early dinner and then walk through the Botanical Gardens to the show. The food is better, the setting amazing and it's cheaper.

Both of these places are very busy and you'll find singles, couples and groups. Besides, when you are sitting at the edge of the harbour looking out over the water, you won't even notice you are solo.

Just a word of warning - the gates to the Botanical Gardens close at 6:30 in March. We had that one extra glass of bubbles last year, missed the gate closing and had to catch a cab to the event.

We were seated next to an American family who had traveled all around Australia and they were unanimous in their view that Butterfly was the highlight of their trip. It was their first time at an opera. You'll love it! As Bokhara say, Aida will be spectacular, but I'm worried about elephants on a floating stage :-))

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Sydney Opera- going solo

Jumbo in water wings?

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Sydney Opera- going solo

I woudn't stress out too much. Noone will really care.

However, if you take the VIP package a the Handa Opera - you could well be seated at a group table - at least we were last time. Its a great way to meet some others.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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6. Re: Sydney Opera- going solo

Ok my tip is to contact the soh and ask if you can be sat with other singles. There will be some. N

I got caught as the single at a family of 3 a few times now and it isn't great.

When I sent an email request pre booking it turned out they were able to suggest the best table

Austin, Texas
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7. Re: Sydney Opera- going solo

Thanks so very much for all the helpful information and tips! Since the tickets aren't on sale to the public yet, no information is available. What is the VIP package? Is it something you sign up for when you purchase your ticket that includes dinner at a specific restaurant? And GurusW-- I will definitely contact the SOH beforehand-- but are you also talking about the VIP package (since you mentioned they can suggest the best TABLE, I assume that's for dinner, not the show?)

One other thing, please. Normally I would enjoy dressing up for an occasion such as this. However, since I'll be living out of a suitcase with limited space for 3 weeks, I don't know that I can fit a long dress and heels in my suitcase. How dressed up are attendees? And is it any different since the particular opera is outside, rather than inside? I would hate to devote space in my suitcase for a nice dress and heels (I'm taking 2 pairs of very comfortable, very casual walking shoes otherwise) just to find out it's pouring rain or very chilly on the night I've reserved.

Once again, I appreciate all the input. To say that I'm excited about visiting the beautiful city of Sydney is a gross understatement!

Sydney/Melbourne
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8. Re: Sydney Opera- going solo

It's an outdoor event so long dresses and high heels are few and far between. Something simple like a pair of pants or skirt and top with a pair of flats and you'd blend in just fine. Even though it's summer, bring a light wrap or jacket as it's on the water and can get chilly. And of course a poncho in case it rains. In light showers the show continues.

The VIP package includes food and drinks at 'restaurant' set up on site.

I got my email offering seats as part of a subscription package yesterday so it won't be long before general public seats go in sale.

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: Sydney Opera- going solo

Can only agree with the dress up advice. We thought we'd dress up as we were going to eat at the VIP restaurant. Unfortunately, in my dinner suit, I got confused several times as an usher or waiter by several members of the riff-raff.

Trust me, you wont be underdressed.

Austin, Texas
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10. Re: Sydney Opera- going solo

Thanks again, everyone. Wonderful information. OMG-- that's funny, Grahame! You should have demanded pre-service tips! I guess they weren't used to an impeccably-dressed man who doesn't take orders or provide a service. :)