Monday, 19 March 2018

News Flash: Snow predicted to fall on Sydney Harbour in 2018!

Opera Australia today released the set details and costume designs for next year’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour production of Puccini’s La Bohème and revealed that fireworks won’t be the only special effect in store for audiences in 2018.

Flurries of snow will take the outdoor opera experience to a whole new level with this stunning new production of La Bohème set in a wintery 1960’s Parisian streetscape and featuring beautiful cobblestone laneways, glowing street lamps and classically bohemian costumes.

Director Andy Morton has been charged with bringing this vision to life, alongside celebrated set and costume designer Dan Potra who is making a welcome return to the outdoor stage after working his magic on Turandot in 2016.

Mr Morton has worked on the past five Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour productions and is delighted to be taking the reins of a new show for the first time.

“On the one hand it is of course extremely exciting. I have to pinch myself occasionally. On the other hand I have seen first-hand how Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is put together and the amount of preparation that goes into it, so I'm under no illusions about what a challenge it is,” Mr Morton said “It's my job to tell the story and, above all, obey the first rule of theatre: "thou shalt not bore!"

So expect amazing lights and projections, soundscapes, bangs, flames, performers flying and the rather singular sight of freezing snowy weather in the middle of Sydney harbour. And fireworks? Well that goes without saying”.

The costumes will bring to life the classic bohemian love story reflecting the counterculture aesthetic of the era and include a range of colourful pea coats, flower power mini dresses and mariniere sailor tops.

Described as one of the great outdoor opera events in the world Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is a highlight of the Australian cultural calendar, attracting more than 250,000 attendees from around Australia and across the globe over the past six years.

The custom-built site has an impressive range of dining and drinking options that make the most of the magnificent harbour views and nightly fireworks. The stunning Platinum Club – a pop up dining room, bar and lounge set amongst the tree tops – offers fine dining before the show, high tea and drinks at interval.

Dinner and show packages are available with variable components that include a three-course dinner, interval drinks, program and performance.

To complete a glamorous night out, guests can arrive at the site by Water Taxi. Pick up points are around Sydney Harbour, dropping guests at Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool, just metres from the entrance to Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour.

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is supported by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.

Performance information 

March 23 – April 22, Performance begins at 7:30pm, Site opens at 5:00pm for bar and restaurant venues
Fleet Steps, Mrs Macquaries Point, Sydney
Running time Two hours and thirty minutes including one interval.
Performed in Italian with English and simplified Chinese subtitles.
Bookings Tickets from $99 (fees may apply)
Group and concession prices available for most performances.
Opera Australia Box Office (02) 9318 8200

Enjoy beautiful Cherry Blossoms at Takada Park

One of the three major Night Sakura viewing spots in Japan - Let's enjoy beautiful Cherry Blossoms at Takada Park🌸

Springtime in Japan is nothing less than magical.
This time we would like to introduce the beautiful and romantic cherry blossoms of Takada Park in Joetsu City, Niigata Prefecture!

About 4,000 cherry blossoms are blooming in Takada Park, located central of Joetsu City! The elegant and fantastic ''Sakura Road'' combined with the illuminated Sanju-yagura (turret) of Takada castle frames a dream-like view! Along with Ueno Park and Hirosaki Castle Park, Takada Park is regarded as one of the three major Night Sakura viewing spots in Japan.

There are about 300 food stalls which makes the venue very busy and attractive as well! it's a great place to enjoy this wonderful scenery!

It is one of the recommended cherry-blossom viewing spot and you definitely would love this place in Tohoku region of Japan.

Visit Japan Now


Sydney and regional NSW are set for an influx of Indian visitors thanks to the NSW Government’s 2018 Focus On India workshop which aims to encourage more Indian travellers to book a trip to Australia’s premier tourism and events State.

NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said India has been NSW's fastest growing inbound tourism market for the past five years.

“With the size of India’s middle class rapidly expanding and Indian millennials seeking to travel more than previous generations, the market presents a lucrative opportunity for our tourism industry,” Mr Marshall said.

“The 2018 Focus On India workshop is all about tapping into this market and putting NSW in the global spotlight by inviting 30 key India-based travel agents to NSW to meet one-on-one with some of our best export-ready tourism businesses.

“There’s no denying that our hard work is paying dividends – the results from the latest International Visitor Survey show that NSW received the highest number of Indian visitors on record in the year ending December 2017, which contributed $337 million in visitor expenditure to NSW.

“We will continue to focus on the dispersal of international tourists beyond the fringes of Sydney and into rural and regional NSW so that local communities reap the benefits of tourist dollars being spent all over town,” he said.


A new air route opened between Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, and Mandalay in Myanmar on Sunday.

The round-trip flights by Sichuan Airlines’ Airbus A320 aircraft fly every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The flying time lasts about 90 minutes each way.

With over 130 Airbus aircraft, Sichuan Airlines is the largest all-Airbus-fleet carrier in China, and operates over 270 domestic and international routes, according to its website.


Sydney has won a major bid to exclusively host the Australian premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a new musical based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl.

Announced this week by the NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall, the premiere production will open at the Capitol Theatre in 2019 and has been secured for Sydney by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

“Securing a major event like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a huge coup for NSW, drawing visitors from far and wide and boosting the State’s visitor economy,” Mr Marshall said.

“Musicals are a major driver of tourism – more than 76,000 overnight visitors are expected to travel to Sydney for the Australian premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, generating an estimated $37 million in visitor spend.

“The popularity of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is enduring and we’re thrilled to secure the Australian premiere of the latest stage adaptation exclusively for NSW.”

John Frost AM, the Managing Director of Gordon Frost Organisation said, “Sydney has a huge treat in store next summer, and it’s a magical concoction ready to satisfy any sweet tooth looking for a golden ticket.”

The Australian Premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will open in January 2019.

Join the waitlist for tickets at


In what will be a first for the Sydney Royal Easter Show, up to 1000 dance lovers per session will be invited to don headphones and lose themselves in The Edge Silent Disco. Running for three consecutive nights on the 26th, 27th and 28th of March 2018, the Sydney Royal Easter Show will run a FREE event exclusively for 18+ showgoers on the Amphitheatre Lawns at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park. 

General Manager Agriculture and Sydney Royal Easter Show Murray Wilton says it is all part of the grand plan for continued variety at The Show: “At the Easter Show we are all about fresh experiences in conjunction with paying tribute to our agricultural roots,” Mr Wilton said. 

“The Sydney Royal Easter Show offers something for all ages and our creative team thought it would be a great idea to have some of the nation’s best DJ’s brought together with hundreds of showgoers in evening ‘silent discos’ across several nights. “It is all part of our initiative to offer different options during our evening sessions at The Show,” he said. 

Event Partner Josh Green from Phoenix Entertainment Live says it is the first time an 18+ silent disco has been part of the Sydney Royal Easter Show line-up: “Phoenix Entertainment Live is excited to be part of the Sydney Royal Easter Show Afterdark program, bringing the The Edge Silent Disco “Glow” experience to life with Audiopaxx’s HUGE DJ roster bringing the beats,” he said. 

The free acts across the three nights will be as follows: 

Monday 26th March 

Tuesday 27th March 

Wednesday 28th March 

Tickets to The Edge Silent Disco on each of the three nights will be issued to 18s and over on a first in, first served basis for those purchasing an all-day or after 4pm General Admission Showlink ticket.   

Full details of the The Edge Silent Discos can be found at; or via the Facebook page: 

1000 headsets, Three DJ’s. Three nights. One Easter Show. Get your tickets online now! 

Sunday, 18 March 2018

SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement - 45th anniversary of the Biennale of Sydney

The Biennale of Sydney has 70 artists who will present work at seven venues across Sydney for the 45th anniversary of Australia’s most well-known contemporary art event, recognised for commissioning and showcasing innovative and thought-provoking Australian and international art. 

Participating artists in the 21st Biennale of Sydney hail from six continents including Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America and Europe with a quarter of the exhibiting artists from Australia. The 21st Biennale of Sydney is a free exhibition spanning three months from 16 March until 11 June 2018

Exploring the curatorial theme of SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement, the 21st Biennale of Sydney will be presented at seven of the city’s most respected museums, galleries and non-traditional exhibition spaces: Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW), Artspace, Carriageworks, Cockatoo Island, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), Sydney Opera House and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

Many of the artworks presented in the 21st Biennale are the result of direct engagement with communities around the globe and reflect the artists’ own migrations or personal histories. Artistic Director, Mami Kataoka commented: “The artists in the 21st Biennale of Sydney have been chosen to offer a panoramic view of how opposing interpretations can come together in a state of equilibrium. The history of the people of Sydney collectively reflects the history of the world in the 20th century, in particular the movements and migration of people and cultures away from conflict. My hope is that the artworks in this Biennale will serve as a catalyst for thought for all of us.” 

Jo-Anne Birnie-Danzker, Director and CEO of the Biennale of Sydney, added: “In 2018, we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Biennale of Sydney, one of the leading contemporary art events in the Asia Pacific region. Under the artistic leadership of Mami Kataoka the 21st Biennale of Sydney promises to be a compelling exploration of the most urgent issues of our day through the eyes of exceptional international and Australian artists. 

The Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) – a Biennale Exhibition Partner since 1976 – will reflect on the Biennale’s rich history through a close examination of its archive, drawing on more than four decades of encounters with art from around the globe. In addition to the archive project, the AGNSW will present 17 artists across the Gallery including celebrated Australian artists Sydney Ball, Roy Wiggan and Roy de Maistre. Paintings by Wathaurung elder Marlene Gilson overturn the colonial grasp on Australia’s past by representing the involvement of Aboriginal people in significant historical events such as the 1854 Eureka Stockade. N.S. Harsha’s twelve-metre long mirrored commission, which assembles found cardboard packaging collected from around the world with 900 hand-carved teak elephants, will be presented alongside Cambodian art collective Sa Sa Art Projects’ collaborative work on the history of the recently demolished White Building in Phnom Penh. 

Artspace in Woolloomooloo has been an Exhibition Partner since 1992 and will host five artists for the 21st Biennale of Sydney, including pre-eminent Flemish painter Michaël Borremans who will exhibit a selection of intimate video works, paintings and drawings. Ai Weiwei’s Crystal Ball, 2017, considers the complex future of our world in the face of the current global humanitarian crisis. Indian artist Tanya Goel will present a selection of paintings and fresco works alongside a site-specific wall drawing. China’s Geng Xue exhibits a video work, Poetry of Michelangelo, 2015, that evokes the conversation between artist and creation, whilst Vietnamese artist Tiffany Chung will show an embroidered textile map and other artworks delineating the patterns of diaspora. 

In 2018 the Biennale of Sydney returns to the multi-arts precinct and former rail-yard Carriageworks for the fourth time with a series of large-scale immersive installations. UK-based duo Semiconductor will present a five-channel video work exploring the material nature of our world and how we experience it through the lens of science and technology. Other artworks presented at Carriageworks include video work by Vietnam’s Trinh Thi Nguyen, new and existing works by Pintupi artist George Tjungurrayi and a four-channel video projection by Chinese artist Chen Shaoxiong depicting familiar landscapes from everyday life. 

On Cockatoo Island, 20 artists will present works echoing the history of the UNESCO-listed site around movement, migration, production and participation, including works that grow or morph over the course of the Biennale. Ai Weiwei’s Law of the Journey, 2017, a 60-metre inflatable boat filled with more than 250 oversized figures, made from the same rubber used to manufacture the precarious vessels that carry refugees across the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece, will fill a cavernous space on the Island. Thai artist, Mit Jai Inn will create a series of new works in which the visible process of creation will be as important as the final product. Sydney artist Yasmin Smith will create a ceramics studio and open-air kiln alongside a ceramic installation

Scottish artist Anya Gallaccio’s sculptural work will comprise a 3D printed clay mountain range, whilst Thai artist Tawatchai Puntusawasdi will present metal sculptures and two-dimensional drawings as a replica of his studio. The Island will host a series of site-specific large-scale installations: in the Turbine Hall, Japan’s Yukinori Yanagi will present Icarus Container, 2018, an immersive maze-like artwork created with shipping containers that will use mirrors to reflect the light of the sun. Japanese-born, Sydney-based artist Koji Ryui will present a site-specific work that expands on his experimentation with geometric abstraction and the spatial potential of everyday objects. British artist Ryan Gander will install a new commission, creating his own universe with replica models of artefacts from his life. Lebanese-born, Sydney-based artist Khaled Sabsabi presents Bring the Silence, 2018, a five-channel audio visual installation that offers an intimate insight into practiced customs at sacred Sufi burial sites. 

Mami Kataoka
Artistic Director of the 21st Biennale of Sydney

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) will present the work of 18 artists across two levels of the museum, including interdisciplinary Australian artist Brook Andrew with a new commission of five sculptures, each representing one of the five elements of the universe according to the philosophy of Wuxing – central to the 21st Biennale of Sydney curatorial concept. The MCA exhibition features South Australian Ngarrindjeri artist Yvonne Koolmatrie’s intricate sedge-woven burial baskets which are a synthesis of traditional knowledge and contemporary innovation, a new work by Yarrenyty Arltere Artists from the Western Arrernte community arts enterprise in Alice Springs and shell-worked slippers by Bidjigal artist and elder Esme Timbery. From Finland, Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen will present a new commission, continuing his research-driven practice which scrutinises global systems, focusing on the correlation between large-scale networks and local events utilising light, sound installation and the moving image. American artist Liza Lou collaborates with KwaZulu-Natal women to present a complex, hand-woven bead installation representing clouds, whilst Australian artist Tom Nicholson will add to an existing wall drawing: a matrix of painstakingly handwritten words narrating a geo-political history of the 20th century. Canadian artist Ciara Phillips presents a working printmaking studio and Swiss artist Marc Bauer will present an installation incorporating a site-specific wall drawing, works on paper and ceramics. Hong Kong artist Nicole Wong will exhibit marble works that draw on google searches. 

The 21st Biennale of Sydney returns to the Sydney Opera House in 2018, marking 45 years since the two Australian cultural institutions were both inaugurated in 1973, with the first Biennale forming part of the opening celebrations of the Sydney Opera House. Together with the Biennale, the Opera House will co-present the Biennale’s keynote address by internationally-celebrated Chinese artist Ai Weiwei on 15 March. The Sydney premiere of Ai Weiwei’s new feature-length film Human Flow, 2017 – his heartbreaking exploration of the global refugee crisis, filmed over the course of a year in 23 countries – will also be presented on 15 March at the Sydney Opera House in partnership with Roadshow. With April 2018 marking 100 years since Sydney Opera House architect Jørn Utzon’s birth, Lebanese artist Rayyane Tabet will present a performance reflecting on Utzon’s architectural and design practice. British artist, Oliver Beer presents a new iteration of his ongoing Resonance Project within Utzon’s masterpiece, exploring the complex relationship between sound and space. 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art will present a video work that documents a participatory event by Japanese theatre-director and artist Akira Takayama who has invited residents of Sydney to perform a song passed down through their family, at Sydney Town Hall. 

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art will present a video work that documents a participatory event by Japanese theatre-director and artist Akira Takayama who has invited residents of Sydney to perform a song passed down through their family, at Sydney Town Hall. 

The Biennale invites community engagement through a comprehensive schedule of public programs including daily guided-tours, artist and curator-led talks, lectures, workshops, panels and screenings as well as the opportunity to contribute memories to the archive. 

Entry to the Biennale of Sydney is free to the public. For further information on the 21st Biennale of Sydney, please visit:

Nha Trang Observatory added to tours

The central coastal province of Khanh Hoa has decided to add Nha Trang Observatory to the schedule of tours in the city.

It is located in Hon Chong, a coastal point along Pham Van Dong street, with a 0.5-meter telescope.

In addition, the observatory has a dome of nine meters in diameter which can hold 60 people at a time and an exhibition space covering 200 square meters.

Last year, Khanh Hoa greeted nearly 5.5 million tourist arrivals, including more than 2 million foreigners, grossing a revenue of VND17.3 trillion.

Source: CPV

Great Barrier Reef shines in collaboration focus at Australian Superyacht Rendezvous

Delivering a unified Great Barrier Reef destination message is the key focus of four collaborating superyacht marinas at this year’s Australian Superyacht Rendezvous.

Taking a collective marketing approach to target international superyachts, Abell Point Marina, Cairns Marlin Marina, Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina and Hamilton Island Marina are working together to promote one simple message – the Great Barrier Reef is the best cruising grounds in the world.

The world-heritage listed Great Barrier Reef is home to icons such as Whitehaven Beach, Lizard Island and the Low Isles. These four marinas are located on the doorstep of these natural wonders providing first-class superyacht facilities, as well as access to unlimited itinerary potential.

Diving the coral reefs, exploring ancient rainforests, enjoying a luxury island resorts or cruising the 74 Whitsunday islands, these hero experiences are the focus of the Great Barrier Reef marina collaboration.

The Australian Superyacht industry eagerly awaits the 2018 Australian Superyacht Rendezvous hosted by Gold Coast City Marina (GCCM) on 20/ 21 April. After the resounding success of last year’s event, the 2018 Australian Superyacht Rendezvous provides the ultimate platform for industry to further enhance the potential of the superyacht industry in Australia.

GCCM chief executive officer, Trenton Gay explains “we are thrilled to have all four of the major Great Barrier Reef marinas onboard as sponsors. Their support adds enormous strength to our event and the very strong message we are sending to the global Superyacht fleet.”

“The Australian Superyacht Rendezvous is about the superyacht industry banding together to put an international spotlight on our amazing country as the ultimate cruising destination and collaborating to attract a larger superyacht fleet to our pristine waters”.

Coming together as co-sponsors of this prestigious event are four superyacht marinas based on the Great Barrier Reef. With a shared vision to promote the Great Barrier Reef region to domestic and international superyachts, this will be the first time the group has worked this closely together to communicate the itinerary potential of the world-heritage listed cruising grounds.

Luke McCaul, general manager Abell Point Marina confirms the rationale behind the collaboration, “to work alongside other quality superyacht marinas in the region is essential to secure increased visitation to the region.”

“The diversity of the cruising grounds, marina facilities and superyacht support services available to visiting vessels in the Great Barrier region is world-class. If the Superyacht industry are smart in promoting our national assets in a collaborative and consistent nature, we will realise our message will emerge stronger and more competitive in the global market.”

Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina in Port Douglas, Cairns Marlin Marina, Abell Point Marina and Hamilton island in the Whitsundays, are collaborating under industry association banner Superyacht Group Great Barrier Reef (SYGGBR) in a real example of how superyacht industry partners are working together to secure the future growth of the superyacht industry in Australia.

MaryAnne Edwards of Superyacht Australia agrees that ‘’this type of collaboration is exactly what the industry needs and it is exciting to see Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, Cairns Marlin Marina, Abell Point Marina and Hamilton Island marina join forces at the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous to promote the Great Barrier Reef. With the newly launched Superyacht Guide to the Great Barrier Reef and marketing efforts like this we expect to see an increase in vessels heading their way. This increase in visitation would be a boost for regional Australia”

Chair of Superyacht Group Great Barrier Reef (SYGGBR), Carrie Carter supports the collaborative venture, ‘’as the sole Far North Queensland superyacht cluster, the SYGGBR are extremely pleased to announce the collaboration of our four world-class marinas at the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous. By imparting their collective capability and high-end services to the global superyacht fleet, our marinas will also showcase their complimentary itineraries and destinations, encompassing the magic of the amazing cruising grounds of the GBR from North to South.”

The Australian Superyacht Rendezvous shines an international spotlight on Australia’s first-class superyacht facilities, hero tourism experiences and safe cruising grounds, making Australia the ultimate cruising destination for overseas yachts.

For more information visit –


The Lao government has approached Thailand for financial support for the construction of a new bridge connecting the two countries.

Vientiane had forwarded the request in the form of grants or loans to the Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency, the Vientiane Times reported, citing a source at the Lao Ministry of Public Works and Transport.

“It depends on the Thai side to consider which form of financial support — the form of a 30-70 grant, low-interest loan or full grant,” the source said. “After working with the Thai authorities, a full grant is unlikely,” the source added.

The 1.35-kilometre-long bridge over the Mekong River will link Bung Kan province and the central Lao province of Borikhamxay.

The construction cost is estimated at 3.8 billion baht, with Thailand spending 2.6 billion baht and Laos taking care of the rest.

It will link with Road No.13 in Laos to Nge An province of Vietnam to promote trade and investment between the three countries.

Read full article at Bangkok Post: