Why anticipate West Side Story, Sydney Harbour

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Rehearsals have commenced for the highly-anticipated return of the sensational musical, West Side Story, at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour. Set to reopen on Friday 22 March, this production promises to deliver an electrifying and larger-than-life experience, making it the most sought-after presentation in the history of the venue.

Talented performers hailing from various regions across Australia, including Mount Gambier, Wagga Wagga, Alice Springs, Gold Coast, Canberra, Newcastle, Melbourne, and Adelaide, alongside an international cast member from the US, have converged upon Sydney with great enthusiasm. They are all poised to take on the challenge of the four-week open-air season on the iconic harbour stage.


The exceptional cast faces an intense rehearsal schedule as they prepare to master the intricate dance sequences and iconic music inherent in this legendary Broadway musical. Under the direction of Associate Director Eric Sean Fogel, Revival Choreographer Kiira Schmidt Carper, and Musical Director Guy Simpson, the cast is gearing up to bring West Side Story to life in a truly remarkable manner.

Featuring one of the most renowned ensembles in musical theatre, the production calls for highly skilled dancers to portray the rival street gangs, the Sharks and the Jets, and perform the celebrated and complex choreography with finesse.

At the forefront of the cast are First Nations soprano Nina Korbe as Maria and Canberran Billy Bourchier as Tony. They are joined by a stellar lineup including Newcastle-born Patrick Whitbread, Gold Coast’s Kimberley Hodgson, and Broadway performer Manuel Stark Santos, who is set to make his Australian debut in the role of Bernardo.

The 44-strong cast also includes Australian performers Wayne Scott Kermond, Scott Irwin, Joe Clements, and Doron Chester, each bringing their own unique flair to the production.

Renowned for being one of Sydney’s most spectacular nights out, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour promises an unforgettable experience. Attendees can look forward to a nightly fireworks display, a variety of pop-up bars and eateries across the site, and unparalleled views of Sydney’s iconic cityscape, including the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

It’s important to note that Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, and through the International Foundation for Arts and Culture as Naming Rights Partner, Dr Haruhisa Handa OA’s Patron in Chief, and OA’s Principal Partner HSBC.

For more details and ticket information, visit Opera Australia’s official website.