Posted by: travelrat | September 20, 2016

‘Turandot’ in Sydney Harbour


Sometimes, they say that watching a cinecast is almost as good as being there. In some ways, it’s better. Every year, we go to the cinecast of the André Rieu concert from Maastricht; indeed, a couple of years, we’ve gone to the live concert AND the cinecast … we try (so far, without success) to spot ourselves in the audience.

We’re agreed that the cinecast is cheaper, we don’t have to travel so far, the seats are more comfortable … and there’s nothing like the queue for the toilet at interval time that there is at Maastricht.

Last week, we went further afield … well, we only went to Salisbury again, but you know what I mean! There was a cinecast of the performance of the opera ‘Turandot’, from the Floating Stage in Sydney Harbour.

Now, for most people, all they know of the opera is the song ‘Nessun Dorma’. It’s sung in Italian, of which I know about ten words (and most of them are swear words). So, how do we know what’s going on?

If you attend a ‘live’ opera, they usually give you a synopsis of the plot in the programme … I downloaded mine from the Internet, just in case. But, it wasn’t necessary. Since it’s film, they simply add subtitles. The plot doesn’t really matter, anyway; it’s the singing you came to hear, isn’t it?

I wonder if the composer Puccini, who died in 1924, ever conceived of his work being performed against the dramatic backdrop of Sydney Harbour by night? One thing’s for certain … if we’re ever in Sydney again, attending a performance of anything on the Floating Stage is definitely high on the list.


  1. Don’t worry, even Italian can’t understand much without subtitles: too many warbles to REALLY understand the words :/

    Great blog!

    • *Italians

  2. I saw the cinecast from Sydney Harbour last winter, and loved it. Not as good as being in a real Opera House or Theatre, but the close-ups were great.

    • Which performance was that? I think they cinecast ‘Carmen’ last year; we wanted to see it, but it clashed with something else & was only on for one night.

  3. Yes, they are all only on for one night so you have to be aware that they are due. Your local Cineworld (I think they have them all) will alert you to them if you sign up for them, the cost is usually between £14 and £16. They also have marvellous plays from the NT, the RSC and the Old Vic. Saw a brilliant production of “Streetcar Named Desire” with Gillian Anderson from the latter. Last week (28th Sept) we had Norma from the ROH, my favourite opera, but not this production unfortunately. Still, better than nothing!

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