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Vision and Hearing

Sydney Opera House services for people who are blind or have low vision

Audio description

An audio description service to enhance the experience of customers who are blind or have low vision is offered for selected performances at the Sydney Opera House. This is a live commentary of the visual elements of a performance, by trained volunteer audio describers. Audio description is relayed via a free headset and receiver linked to the FM radio system.

Assistance animals

Guide dogs or any animals trained to assist people with disabilities are welcome inside all areas of the Sydney Opera House. To ensure appropriate seating is allocated, please advise of your requirements when booking.

Companion Card

The Companion Card is accepted for all performances at the Sydney Opera House. Patrons holding a NSW Companion Card can call our priority line on +61 2 9250 7752 to discuss seating requirements and sales for all our events and performances.

At the time of ticket purchase, cardholders may either phone or email their valid Companion Card number and expiry date to be kept on file for future ticket purchases. Alternatively, the card may be presented in person at the Box Office. Cardholders will be issued with a complimentary ticket for their essential support companion.

Sydney Opera House services for people who are deaf or have hearing loss

Theatre Captioning

An open captioning service to enhance the experience of customers who are deaf or have hearing loss is offered for selected performances at the Sydney Opera House. Captions are text descriptions that are displayed on a screen inside the venue.

Auslan Interpreted Performances 

An Auslan Interpretation service to enhance the experience of customers who are deaf or have hearing loss is offered for selected performances at the Sydney Opera House. Experienced Auslan theatre interpreters on stage translate dialogue or lyrics into Auslan.

Surtitles

Surtitles in English are projected above the Joan Sutherland Theatre stage for most opera productions. Additional surtitle screens have been installed at the front of the venue so that they may be read from the wheelchair seating area and nearby seats.  This view is available from Row D, Seats 14 & 36 outwards, Row E seats 14 and 36 outwards, and from the entire row in Rows F and G. 

Some seats in the venue are not able to view the surtitles so please advise Box Office of your requirements when booking tickets.

Assistive Listening Systems

The Sydney Opera House provides two services to improve listening clarity for people with hearing loss who experience difficulty and fatigue when trying to understand speech because of distance, reverberation and background noise.

FM Augmentation System (FM Devices)

Audio input or any electronic sound source feeds into an FM transmitter and the FM radio frequency signal is picked up by the patrons FM receiver. FM receivers and headsets are provided free of charge and can be obtained from the nearest cloakroom prior to the performance.

This service has full coverage in all venues except the Utzon Room. Please inquire at the Cloak Room for this service.

Hearing Loop

A Hearing Loop provides an in-floor magnetic field which emits a wireless signal.  To receive the signal directly a patron can switch their hearing aid or cochlear implant processor to the T Switch, or Telecoil position.

For patrons who find that their hearing aid is unable to connect to the in-floor signal we offer a free of charge personal induction loop which is worn around the neck and can be obtained from the nearest cloakroom prior to the performance.

A Hearing Loop is available in the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Concert Hall, and Drama Theatre with 80% or more coverage of the venue. All other venues have full coverage using the FM Augmentation System.

The following areas of the below venues receive Hearing Loop coverage:

  • Joan Sutherland Theatre: all rows except Stalls Row A
  • Drama Theatre: all rows except A, B, C, H, P
  • Playhouse: all rows except J - S 

Please inquire at the Cloak Room for this service.

A Hearing Loop is also installed at the main Box Office counter windows. This amplifies Box Office staff and customer voices to assist when making enquires or booking tickets.

Thank you to the Yarranabbe Foundation

Please join us in thanking the Yarranabbe Foundation, an Opera House Utzon Idealist major donor, which has enabled upgrades to the induction loops in the Drama Theatre and the Joan Sutherland Theatre for the benefit of our patrons with hearing loss.

National Relay Service

Those customers who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment can call through the National Relay Service at no cost: TTY users, phone 133 677 then ask for  9250 7111; Speak & Listen users (speech-to-speech relay), phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 9250 7111 and Internet relay users, connect to the NRS – see www.relayservice.com.au for details – and then ask for 9250 7111.

Companion Card

The Companion Card is accepted for all performances at the Sydney Opera House. Patrons holding a NSW Companion Card can call our priority line on +61 2 9250 7752 to discuss seating requirements and sales for all our events and performances.

At the time of ticket purchase, cardholders may either phone or email their valid Companion Card number and expiry date to be kept on file for future ticket purchases. Alternatively, the card may be presented in person at the Box Office. Cardholders will be issued with a complimentary ticket for their essential support companion.

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