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Draw the House

With Shireen Taweel and Sarah Fitzgerald

The Sketchbook Tour

Join like-minded creative souls to explore the Opera House through an artist's eyes in our free monthly walking and drawing tours.

Meet at Welcome Centre | Sydney Opera House Presents | Tour

COVID-safe and event information

The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone at the Opera House is our priority. When you return to the Opera House, you will notice some important changes that have been implemented to keep the community safe, which are regularly reviewed and updated in consideration of the Public Health Order prevailing at the time. Please follow our conditions of entry at all times:

  • Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask;
  • As you move around the Opera House, practise physical distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage; and
  • Within venues, always take your allocated seat.

Please refer to our updated General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events for detailed information about our ticketing policies. These conditions may change between the time of purchase and the event date. Ticketholders will be contacted directly regarding any changes to their event.

Please check our plan your visit page prior to attending the Opera House for the most up-to-date information.

Recommended for all ages and all skill levels

This class is for all ages and skill levels, from beginners to experienced. Come solo, with a friend or family member.

Pre-sale and on-sale information

Pre-sale timings:

  • Insider Member Priority – Thursday 19 May, 9am

General public on sale Wednesday 25 May, 9am

Sessions on Sunday 31 July and Sunday 28 August

Last Sunday of each month at 9.45am & 11.30am

This is a free event. Registered Ticket Holders Only.

Register for the free event by using the 'Book now' button. 

Maximum two (2) tickets per person. Tickets purchased in excess of the ticket limit may be cancelled without notice. 

The only authorised agency for this event is Sydney Opera House. For more information about Authorised Agencies, see the FAQ below.

 

The duration of this event is 75 minutes

Event duration is a guide only and may be subject to change

In English | Wheelchair accessible

The tour involves walking throughout the Opera House site to find interesting aspects of the building, so we will be stopping frequently to sit and draw. Please advise us upon booking if you have any particular learning or mobility needs for us to support.

Find out more about accessibility at Sydney Opera House.

What you need to know

Please dress for the weather as we will be working outdoors. Participants must provide their own sketchbooks and materials from a suggested list by our art teacher (this will be emailed to you upon registration). The tour will meet at the Welcome Centre located on the Lower Concourse. Our Welcome Team will be around to help direct you. We highly recommend bringing sunscreen, a water bottle and wearing a hat.

This walking tour will visit various spaces throughout the Sydney Opera House and will include around 300 stairs.  Pease wear flat, comfortable shoes - your feet will thank you! If you have any concerns about the intensity of the tour please contact our Tourism Reservations team on 02 9250 7250 or tourismbookings@sydneyoperahouse.com.

“Drawing is a way of coming upon the connection between things; just like metaphor in poetry reconnects what has become separated.”
John Berger - Art Critic, Novelist, Painter & Poet

Slow down, observe...

Create a range of drawings inspired by one of the world's most iconic buildings.

Once a month join like-minded creative souls to explore the Opera House and its surroundings through the eyes of an artist. Working with a different artist each month, explore various drawing techniques, and perspectives inspired by one of the world's most iconic buildings. 

You will also learn from an expert Tour Guide about the influence of visual arts in the Opera House history, including the beautiful tapestries that grace our venues and foyer spaces. 

Drawing is practical as an architectural and engineering blueprint, but it is also a tool for creative expression and making meaning, visually documenting what we see or imagine on paper, for others to view, interpret and enjoy.

From the very beginning, drawings have played a significant role in the Opera House’s history – a global architectural competition saw entries from all over the world, where a relatively unknown Danish architect, Jorn Utzon, became the winner of a new National Opera House for Sydney. Utzon’s original and somewhat controversial design was an imaginative sculptural response that the judges were convinced would be ‘capable of becoming one of the great buildings of the world’. 

Meet the Artists...

Shireen Taweel (July)

Shireen Taweel is a Sydney-based multimedia installation artist living and working on Gadigal Country. Her work broaches issues of the construction of cultural heritage, knowledge and identity through language and the constantly shifting public space of the social, political and religious axiom. Her artistic practice draws from the personal experiences of being Lebanese Australian living between cultures, and how the physical spaces within her community reflect a complex cultural landscape of transformation expressed through hybridity and plurality. The project development of Shireen’s works are often site-specific, weaving local narratives and research with a focus on experimentation in material and sound through site.

Shireen Taweel

Meet the Artists...

Sarah Fitzgerald (August)

Sarah Fitzgerald is a Sydney based artist with a Masters in Fine Arts from the National Art School in Sydney and a degree in Architecture from the University of Sydney. Her art practice is interdisciplinary and includes painting, sculpture, drawing and large-scale installation. She is interested in contemporary issues of place and identity and the role different types of structures, such as language, architecture, and urbanization, affect the way we live and communicate with each other. Through her art practice she explores the interface between art and architecture and how these two disciplines reflect the way we construct and occupy space.

Sarah Fitzgerald

Venue Information

The Centre for Creativity will adhere to a maximum capacity of 1 person per two square metres, in line with the current NSW Public Health Order. 

Our foyers will be open 60 minutes pre-show for Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars. Please remember to maintain physical distancing whilst consuming drinks in our foyers.

All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to all foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres in the Western Foyer consistent with COVID-safe rules.

Transport options

  • We encourage you to use private transport options to minimise crowding on public transport (in line with NSW Government advice). 
  • The Sydney Opera House Car Park, operated by Wilson Parking, is open and available to use. Wilson Parking offer discounted parking if you book ahead. Please see their website for details.
  • Please check the Transport NSW website for the latest advice and information on travel and COVID-19 safety measures. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 min walk to the Opera House. 

Frequently Asked Questions - Tours

Who is this tour suited to?

This class is for all ages and skill levels, from beginners to experienced. Come solo, with a group of friends or a family member.

Who are the authorised ticket sellers for this event? 

The authorised agency for this event is the Sydney Opera House.

Only tickets purchased by authorised agencies should be considered reliable. If you purchase tickets from a non-authorised agency such as Ticketmaster Resale, Viagogo, Ticketbis, eBay, Gumtree, Tickets Australia or any other unauthorised seller, you risk that these tickets are fake, void or have previously been cancelled. RESALE RESTRICTION APPLIES. For more details, please refer to our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events.

I have access needs - how can the Opera House support me?

The tour involves walking throughout the Opera House site to find interesting aspects of the building, so we will be stopping frequently to sit and draw.

Please advise us upon booking if you have any particular learning or mobility needs for us to support.

What are the transport options to the Opera House?

You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 minute walk to the Opera House. If you’re getting dropped off in a car, head to the roundabout at the bottom of Macquarie Street where staff will direct you to a safe place to pull over.

Driving? Park in Wilson’s Car Park, you’re just minutes to your tour meeting point. Need a bit more info? Click here

What should I bring on the day?

Please dress for the weather as we will be working outdoors. Participants must provide their own sketch books and materials from a suggested list by our art teacher (this will be emailed to you upon registration).

Where does the group meet? 

The tour will meet at the Welcome Centre. Our Welcome Team will be around to help direct you.

What time do I need to arrive before my tour?

It’s a great idea to arrive early, grab a drink and soak up the view. Please arrive 15 minutes before your tour to allow sufficient time to cloak all your bags and personal belongings.

This should allow enough time for the mandatory visual inspections and/or cloaking of all bags and personal belongings by Opera House staff before starting your tour.

Where possible, please leave bags at home. Please note we are unable to cloak bags larger than A4 size. 

What if I am late for the activity?

We will depart promptly at the tour time, however if you are running late, please make your way to the Welcome Centre to find our friendly Opera House staff who will be able to assist you. 

Will my experience be impacted by the Opera House's Renewal works?

In February 2020, the Opera House began major Concert Hall renewal works to transform the world-famous venue for 21st century performances. You can find out more here.

While the Concert Hall is closed, the rest of Opera House will remain open and vibrant, with unmissable performances and experiences across all other venues and the wider precinct.

Guests may experience some noise in foyers and theatres but we are working hard to minimise disruption associated with these important works.

Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19 Safety Measures

What safety measures have you implemented?

Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of everyone on site, and we are closely following NSW Health guidelines and advice. The Sydney Opera House is registered as a COVID Safe business with the NSW Government. For detailed information about our COVID-19 safety measures and what’s required of you when visiting, please see our plan your visit page.

Do I need to be vaccinated to attend the Opera House?

Yes. Patrons and visitors aged 16 years and over entering the Opera House building are required to show that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless medically exempt (under 16s not fully vaccinated must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult). This includes visitors and patrons attending a performance or event, taking a tour, or visiting the box office, retail store, bar or restaurant operated within the building (Bennelong and Portside). These requirements do not apply to visitors attending outdoor events or venues on the Lower Concourse, including Opera Bar, Opera Kitchen and the Welcome Centre. Check-in processes will be in place for verifying proof of vaccination upon entry. 

Am I required to wear a mask?

Yes, please bring and wear a mask. Face masks continue to be required for patrons aged 12 years and over while inside our foyers and theatres, including during the tour (unless medically exempt). We highly recommend children aged 11 years and younger wear a mask at all times. Please bring your own mask.

How are you managing contact tracing?

Contact information is required when making a booking with us and upon arrival at the Opera House, as set out in our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events and our Customer Privacy Statement.

As the ticket purchaser, you are responsible for recording the contact details of your guests. Contact information will only be used for the purposes of contact tracing, if required, and will be deleted at least 28 days after your event.

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