Trusted Shops badge

West Side Story: Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

About the Event

West Side Story, a musical masterpiece, made its explosive debut on Broadway in 1957. It was hailed as an 'incandescent piece of work' by The New York Times and has since become a phenomenon that has never faded. Now, in 2024, this iconic musical is returning to Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour in a spectacular staging that is larger‐than‐life and electrifying. Audiences will have the opportunity to experience the greatest score ever written for musical theatre, dynamic dance numbers that soar through the open air, and a timeless love story.

Set against the backdrop of war on New York's Upper West Side, the Jets and the Sharks, two teen gangs, are engaged in a fierce turf battle. However, amidst the chaos, Tony and Maria find themselves crossing enemy lines and dreaming of a time and place where their love can flourish freely. Leonard Bernstein's score is filled with memorable hits such as 'America,' 'Tonight,' 'Maria,' 'I Feel Pretty,' and the enduring 'Somewhere.'

Francesca Zambello, a great figure in opera and musical theatre, directs a production of West Side Story that celebrates the beauty of the original. With set and costume designers Brian Thomson and Jennifer Irwin, Sydney will be transformed into a slice of New York. If you have never been to Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, be prepared for a remarkable night out. Before the show, guests can enjoy the stunning sunset over Sydney Harbour while indulging at one of the five pop‐up bars and restaurants on site. Then, take your place in the grandstand by the water and be captivated by the enthralling performance, complete with a live orchestra hidden beneath the dramatic stage and breathtaking fireworks in the balmy night air.

Based on the concept of Jerome Robbins, with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, West Side Story originally premiered on Broadway and was produced by Robert E. Griffith and Harold S. Prince. It is presented under license exclusively by Music Theatre International (Australasia), in arrangement with Roger L. Stevens.

Practical Information

Performed in English.

Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one interval.

This production contains strong language, adult themes and a depiction of sexual violence not recommended for children under the age of 12.

Cast / Production


Gift card