Giant rooster lanterns, the sails bathed in auspicious red, a glowing wishing tree, Mandarin tours, dumplings, coconut ice cream and ancient music reimagined by renowned composer Tan Dun.
The Sydney Opera House provides a front row seat to usher in the Year of the Rooster as part of the City of Sydney’s Chinese New Year Festival from 27 January, when two spectacular 8 x 8 metre rooster lanterns arrive at Bennelong Point as the star attraction of the Lunar Lantern exhibition.
The Opera House sails will glow red from 27 – 29 January to celebrate the Lunar New Year as part of Sydney-wide celebrations expected to draw crowds of more than 1 million over the 17-day festival, with a record 28,000 visitors to take an Asian language tour of the Opera House.
Visitors to Australia’s number one tourist destination can enjoy a new one-hour Mandarin tour, special dining and drink offers at Opera Kitchen, Opera Bar, Portside Sydney and Bennelong, hang their wish for a prosperous new year on a wishing tree under the steps and take in ‘Music under the Moon’, a special performance from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Chinese contemporary classical composer and conductor Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).
Jade McKellar, Sydney Opera House Director of Visitor Experience, said: “Each year, Sydney hosts one of the biggest Lunar New Year celebrations outside of Asia. Given the Opera House’s increasing popularity with Chinese tourists, it’s a fantastic opportunity to program events and activities that bring together local and international visitors as part of this vibrant festival.
“With two incredible rooster zodiac lanterns, delicious celebratory food and drink offers, a new Mandarin tour that takes visitors beneath the sails and more, the Opera House is the perfect starting point to experience Sydney’s Lunar New Year.”
Year of the Rooster Lunar Lanterns
Standing proudly on the Opera House’s Western Broadwalk, these giant colourful roosters created by Sydney design collective amigo and amigo will be the perfect backdrop to the perfect shot. Frozen in a dancing fight to oppose the adversity of the year ahead, these vain and boastful roosters will surely be the centre of attention.
Take in stunning sunset views as the Lunar Lanterns illuminate Sydney’s harbour while sampling special Chinese New Year dining options from our on-site restaurants:
- Australian and Asian culture collide at Opera Kitchen with 12 delicious dumplings and four Tsingtao beers to share for $80. Available 27 Jan – 12 Feb.
- In a twist on a summer favourite, Opera Bar will serve oysters from its RAW Bar with a Chinese-style black vinegar, ginger and shallot dressing for Chinese New Year. Half-dozen of Pacific or Rock oysters for $24. Available 27 Jan – 12 Feb.
- Portside Sydney’s Hatted Chef Lauren Murdoch will present a two-course Chinese New Year feast for $49 of Silken chicken with shitake, rice and daikon, followed by coconut ice cream with lychee jelly and red bean syrup. Served with a glass of house sparkling, white or red. Available 2 – 12 Feb.
- In a playful nod to the roosters below, Bennelong will offer ‘8 Lucky Chickadees’ a strawberry, pomegranate, nectarine and white rum cocktail ($24) or mocktail (16). Available 27 Jan – 12 Feb.
Sydney Opera House Tour – Mandarin (one hour)
Discover the dramatic history, breathtaking architecture and inside stories of one of the world’s most iconic buildings on this new one-hour tour inside the World Heritage-listed masterpiece, with the opportunity to add on a three-tier Tasting Plate at Opera Kitchen to complete your experience with sea breezes, great food and unbeatable harbour views.
Before the tour begins, visitors can set the tone for the year ahead by hanging a wish of their choice on the glowing 2.8 metre wishing tree under the steps.
Tours run at 9:30am, 11:00am, 1:00pm and 2:30pm. Tickets: $37 for Adults (or $80 per person for Tour + Tasting Plate). Book online to save 10% here. Tours in English and other languages are also available during the Lunar New Year period.
Music under the Moon: Lantern Festival Celebration
Grammy and Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Hero) will join the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to conduct a one-night only special event.
The program includes The Secret Songs of Women – a hit from the 2014 OzAsia Festival in Adelaide – in which Tan Dun celebrates Nu Shu, an ancient private language passed from mothers to daughters through song, accompanied by harp and orchestra. Five years in the making and featuring 13 micro films projected above the stage, The Secret Songs of Women is both a dramatic artwork and a living text.
Tickets available from $39 here.