Opera Australia’s 2019 Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story,was the most successful in the event’s eight-year history, the company announced. The production – the first time a musical has been staged for HOSH – was attended by more than 65,000 people, breaking the record set by Aidain 2015, which was attended by more than 57,000.

West Side Story, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, HOSH West Side Story on Sydney Harbour. Photograph © Prudence Upton

“Each year always exceeds our expectations, but West Side Storyhas really knocked it out of the park on all levels. We knew it would be a hit, but to see such a strong response like we’ve never had before is just brilliant,” said Lyndon Terracini, OA’s Artistic Director. “I would also like to extend a sincere thanks to Dr Haruhisa Handa and the International Foundation for Arts and Culture whose ongoing support promotes cultural exchange and conversation, nurtures gifted artists and creative talent, and promotes opera to a diverse and international audience in a truly unique undertaking.”

OA is claiming the decision to stage a musical – albeit a uniquely operatic one – rather than...

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