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Opera House ushers in Year of the Pig with vibrant Lunar New Year festivities

January 29, 2019 Attraction No Comments Email Email

Tai chi at sunrise, an abstract Pig Lunar Lantern, exquisite orchestral music and delectable dining. The Sydney Opera House will ring in the Year of the Pig with a vibrant program of Lunar New Year festivities as part of a 10-day celebration across the city.

In what has become the biggest Lunar New Year celebration outside of Asia, this year the City of Sydney’s Festival is expected to attract more than 1.4 million visitors to Sydney with street performers, roving pigs and twelve oversize zodiac lanterns along the Circular Quay foreshore.

The spectacular new Pig Lantern by esteemed Chinese sculptor Justin Qian will sit proudly on the Opera House’s Western Broadwalk as the centrepiece of the City of Sydney’s Lunar Lantern exhibition (1-10 Feb). The five-metre tall abstract sculptural pig has been created using an intricate latticework of pink lights that invite the viewer to explore the many unique perspectives within.

In a Lunar New Year first, a special edition Sunrise on the Steps Tai Chi class will bring tranquility, balance and peace of mind to Bennelong Point at daybreak. Grandmaster Gary Khor, the highly respected Founder & President of the Australian Academy of Tai Chi, will lead a free one-hour community tai chi class at the top of the Monumental Steps (9 Feb).

The Opera House’s harbourside restaurants will provide the perfect vantage point to take in Sydney’s glowing Harbour while indulging in Lunar Feasts like Portside Sydney’s kingfish sashimi and crispy leg duck with twice cooked snake beans and matching wine ($58) and Opera Kitchen’s Crying Tiger Thai marinated grain-fed sirloin steak ($49) or Australian seafood tasting plate with cold lobster tail, tiger prawns, smoked river trout pâté, oysters, smoked salmon with hot fish and chips ($130).

On stage in the Concert Hall, East and West will collide as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performs A Lunar New Year Celebration. Conducted by young Hong Kong virtuoso Elim Chan, the concert will feature composer Li Huanzhi’s, ‘Spring Festival Overture’, dances from the heart of China, thrilling operatic moments by Borodin and Tchaikovsky, and the Jin Wu Koon Lion Dance Troupe (1-2 Feb). And chart-topping all-female music group Twelve Girls Band – Chinese New Year Concert 2019 will perform modern pop music on traditional Chinese folk instruments.

Jade McKellar, Sydney Opera House Director of Visitor Experience says: “Lunar New Year at the Opera House is the perfect destination to experience the fusion of East and West in Australia – whether it’s through unique orchestral music, morning mindfulness or delicious food.

“Chinese visitation to Australia continues to boom – up 8 per cent last year – and the Opera House’s growth is double that, with a 16 per cent increase in our Mandarin-language tours. With four in five Chinese tourists to Sydney now visiting our precinct, the Opera House is a must-see for international visitors from Asia year-round.”

More than 25,000 international visitors are expected to mark Lunar New Year with a Mandarin-language tour of the Opera House, including hanging a wish on the glowing wishing tree under the steps to set good intentions for the year ahead.

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