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The majestic queen of Ancient Egypt takes centre stage


The head of Ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti loomed in the heart of Sydney Harbour earlier this year for Handa Opera’s production of Aida. Captured live, we are giving you the opportunity to experience the spectacle of this breathtaking prop and opera on our big screen this month.

The feature piece of the opera, the 18 metre high bust of Nefertiti was designed to be in a state of decay. Designer Mark Thompson was inspired by Aida’s original staging when it premiered in Egypt in 1871.

The sculpture was six months in the making with elements including a combination of polystyrene, plywood and aluminium, produced in separate locations around the country. The bust was constructed at roughly 8 metres wide, weighed over 15 tonnes.

David Comer, Managing Director of Staging Rentals and Construction Services commented, “We’ve overcome a number of logistical challenges to deliver this fascinating feature that now looms large over the harbour. At its full height, it stood taller than our warehouse roof, so our team had to develop a unique build sequence specifically for this project.”

With only one road in and one road out to Fleet Steps at Mrs Macquarie’s Point, the stage arrived on 15 semi-trailers and rigid trucks, proving an arduous task, which involved more than 150 people to build .

Nefertiti was transported by barge to its final destination at Mrs Macquarie’s Point before being craned into position on the over-water stage and then fully configured on site. Made up of approximately 80 individual sections, the head of the queen rested on a custom 10 metre revolve.

The enormous spectacle was accompanied by a full symphony orchestra, live camels and hundreds of performers on stage, making this production truly remarkable.

If you missed this extravaganza on Sydney Harbour this year, or want to experience it again, don’t miss it on our big screen. One screening only – 29 August. Click here for more information and bookings.


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