Own a piece of opera history with Opera Australia’s first costume and memorabilia exhibition and auction

Saturday 24 – Thursday 29 June 2017 at The Opera Centre, Surry Hills, Sydney

Friday 30 June – Saturday 1 July 2017 at The Opera Centre, Surry Hills, Sydney


Opera Australia is diving into sixty years of costumes, accessories, artworks and memorabilia in an anniversary exhibition at The Opera Centre.

The week-long event will culminate in an auction where the public can bid for an exclusive piece of Australia’s operatic story.

This is the first time Opera Australia has opened its vaults to give thousands of opera fans the opportunity to get up close to the costumes worn by their idols.

Highlights of the exhibition and auction include:

  • Costumes from Baz Luhrmann’s famous 1990 production of La Bohème
  • Dame Kiri Te Kanawa ONZ DBE AC’s costume for the role as ‘Violetta’ in the 1978 production of La Traviata
  • Yvonne Kenny AM’s costume for the roles of ‘Sylva Varescu’ in the 2001 production of The Gypsy Princess, ‘Hanna’ in the 2004 production of The Merry Widow and ‘Armida’ in the 1999 production of Rinaldo
  • Sigrid Thornton’s costume for the role of ‘Desirée’ in 2009 production of A Little Night Music.
  • Dame Heather Begg DNZM OBE’s costume for the role of ‘The Countess Di Coigny’ in the 2001 production of Andrea Chénier
  • Cheryl Barker AO’s costume for the role of ‘Lauretta’ in 2007 production of Gianni Schicchi

The event is free to attend.

Recognised as a collection of national significance, the thousands of costumes, accessories and artworks have been assessed, valued and catalogued by textile and memorabilia experts from renowned auction house Leonard Joel.

The display and auction will take place at Opera Australia’s headquarters in Sydney’s Surry Hills where most of the items were painstakingly created over the years. Meticulously hand-crafted by teams of artisans over the years, custom-designed pieces from Opera Australia’s expansive wardrobe are expected to be the most sought after items.

All individually designed for their specific productions, each piece will be labelled with its providence, the name of the opera and the performer it was made for.

The auction will be held on Friday 30 June and Saturday 1 July 2017 with bidding also available via telephone and online. Public viewing from Saturday 24 June.

For more information, visit the Opera Australia website.