With Ayers Rock set to host a programme of opera, 7 more sites you won’t believe are concert venues

Have you ever wanted to be serenaded by the arias of Puccini, Bizet and Rossini in the midst of the dusty, red outback of Central Australia, with the giant shape of Uluru, aka Ayers Rock, looming in the background? We hadn’t thought of it either, but now that it’s possible we’re intrigued.

You’d think that the acoustic design of modern music halls might be enough for most actors and musicians, but for the born performer, almost anywhere can be their stage.

David Hasselhoff hit the headlines in 1989 with a set atop Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate; metal band The Defiled played on board a floating iceberg in Greenland to a packed audience of fishing boats; and pianist Evelina de Lain set a range of records recently by nailing Chopin’s Nocturnes atop a 5,000m Himalayan mountain pass.

Now Uluru will be hosting a series of productions from Opera Australia, backed up by a spectacular art installation involving 50,000 glowing spheres.

Don’t fancy the 11-hour time difference? Here’s a few other venues pushing the geographical envelope a little bit closer to home…

1. The Ancient Theatre at Epidaurus, Greece

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There aren’t many theatres in use more than two millennia after they were built, but the Epidaurus amphitheatre is, and it’s probably the finest of its kind anywhere in the world. The Greeks knew a thing or two about sound design, and the acoustics are so rich that even the people in the back row can, quite literally, hear a pin drop on stage.

Through the summer months the site still offers a programme of ancient Greek dramas performed in their original tongue.

2. Dalhalla, Sweden

Fair play to the brains behind Dalhalla – it takes a pretty lateral mind to transform a flooded limestone quarry into a successful performance venue. Now nearly 25 years old, Dalhalla hosts an eclectic mix of opera, choral works, pop music and jazz.

3. Les Dunes Electroniques, Tunisia

Bear with us on this – Les Dunes Electroniques is an annual Tunisian desert music festival mostly featuring dance and house, that happens to be on the set of Tatooine from the Star Wars movies.

After a brief sabbatical, the festival is returning in April of this year, its last chance before Star Wars Episode IX premiers in December. Expect a strange mix of hardcore house fans and people in stormtrooper masks.

4. Bombed Out Church, Liverpool

Outdoor gigs are refreshing, gigs in churches are quirky, and this weather-beaten venue in Liverpool offers you a combination of the two.

Almost levelled during the blitz, the stripped down ruin has now become a hub for local musicians and theatre companies, keen to sample the unusual lighting, stripped down aesthetic, and ethereal atmosphere.

5. Cumberland Caverns, USA

An amazing 333 feet below the ground of Tennessee, Cumberland Cavern concerts reverberate through 32 miles of naturally-occurring subterranean tunnel. Perhaps appropriately, it’s mostly rock.

6. The Cutty Sark Theatre, London

The Cutty Sark in Greenwich: Tea clipper, national landmark… comedy club? During the day this flagship of the historic fleet is a major maritime attraction, but after the tourists have disembarked the lower hold is transformed into the Michael Edwards Studio Theatre.

An airy but intimate venue, the ship shows everything from Gilbert and Sullivan to disco, and often hosts comics such as Alan Carr and Josh Widdicombe.

7. Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg

A comparatively conventional music hall with an ultra-modern sheen, this pride of the Hamburg art scene makes the list for sheer architectural weirdness. The glass-panelled exterior looks like someone has taken a bite out of the roof, while the inside looks like a penthouse/nuclear bunker that’s been painted by Pablo Picasso.

- Press Association

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