Guidebook Opera and classical music: a city of beautiful sounds


Opera and classical music: a city of beautiful sounds

Melbourne has a long, rich classical music and opera history. It has Australia's oldest symphony orchestra, three active opera companies and a repertoire of theatres that perform professional classical music and opera.

The Melbourne Recital Centre is a 1000-seat auditorium designed to be "acoustically perfect," says the ABC's Catalyst. The centre has a much longer reverberance than a conventional theatre, which delivers the resonance to allow the music to "blend and to bloom".

With a reputation for excellence, versatility and innovation, developed over more than 100 years, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is Australia's oldest professional orchestra, "renowned for its performances of the great symphonic masterworks with leading international and Australian artists," says the Australian Major Performing Arts Group website. Each year the Orchestra - known locally as "the MSO" - performs to more than 250,000 people at events ranging from the annual series of Sidney Myer Free Concerts to its Classic Kids concerts. It has also produced big performances with artists like Elton John, KISS, Meat Loaf, Ben Folds and Burt Bacharach.

Here's where to find the best of Melbourne's classical music and opera:

  • Guidebook