For his latest adventure, however, the Australian has stayed closer to home – freerunning inside the iconic Sydney Opera House in his native city.
The Sydney Opera House is one of the most recognisable structures in the world and since its opening in 1973 the venue has played host to a who’s who of world leaders, artists and performers. It’s fitting then that the freerunning legend has linked up with the venue for a bravura performance of his own.
For his latest project, Dom Di Tommaso: Freerunner’s Guide to the Sydney Opera House, Di Tommaso was given the keys to the Opera House, getting to freerun areas from the large concert hall to the rafters in the ceiling, the back of house and more.
Filmed over a gruelling three days, Freerunner’s Guide to the Sydney Opera House is a standout solo performance befitting one of the world’s great concert venues, with each scene more gravity-defying than the last, as Di Tommaso makes his way into the heart of the historic building.
When you got the green light to freerun through the Sydney Opera House, was it hard to pick what you were going to do and what would be captured on camera?
It’s always difficult to pick the best line or the best output for any space, let alone a space like the Sydney Opera House! As a freerunner, we’re always looking at unique architecture as an opportunity to express ourselves and use the space creatively. It’s something I’ve always dreamt of, as I go past the Opera House almost every single day while I’m in Sydney.
I really went ‘full thought mode’ on the space and tried to come up with the best possible outcome – I even brought in some members of the parkour community to work as my team creatively and help assist with those thoughts and visions. As a community we always work together and I’m really stoked on it, and think we came up with the best possible outcome for each spot using the minds we had there.
Sydney Opera House more than lived up to my expectations, it blew them out of the water. The interesting architecture was such a great space to work with for movement and physical challenges. I would love to explore more of Sydney’s iconic architecture in the future.
Were there any parts of the project that really stood out to you?
Of all the things I found in the Opera House, the most mentally anguishing was running across the exposed rafters above the dining hall. I think I’m just not as comfortable on bars as I am on other obstacles… the brain works in mysterious ways sometimes.
The final backflip on the very top of the famous sail roof was the last thing we shot and it really was the culmination and the best part of shooting in this amazing location. That’s a fantasy spot to pull off something and to have that opportunity is next to none. I was mentally quite tired from the whole shoot, so I really had to keep my wits about me, however. The space was actually quite small also, smaller than we anticipated.
This is one of the most gratifying projects that I could do because it’s in my backyard
How does Freerunner’s Guide to the Sydney Opera House rank for you in terms of career highlights?
It ranks pretty highly as far as career highlights go. This is certainly one of the most personally gratifying projects that I could ever get to do, because it’s in my backyard – I drive over the bridge and pass the Opera House all the time. Getting the extra access to be able to go inside and do all of those things within the theatre, it was just an amazing opportunity.
Check out Di Tommaso’s classic freerunning adventure through ancient Cairo in the video below:
Australian freerunner Dominic Di Tommaso does his thing at a series of iconic locations across Cairo.
You used to be a garbage collector and now you’ve gone on to do something no one has ever done before. What’s the key you could share with people looking to level up the way you have and achieve their dreams?
Being a garbage man was kind of a tactical move to make the future work. I was passionate about parkour and it’s what I think I was put on the planet to do, so I knew that if I had the mornings doing physical exercise that would strengthen me for the physical feats and challenges I wanted to do in the evening when I was training.
There was definitely a stage where I was working and I thought that was what I was going to do forever, but I was content because I was doing parkour almost every day and that was satisfying in itself, just doing the movement.
The biggest key to everything is persistence and passion. Because if you care about something enough and you want to do it enough persistently, you’re going to find a way to make that at least achievable for yourself in a satisfying way. When you have that core love and passion for something, then you’re able to push that to the next level by being persistent with it over the years, even when other people stop.
**Made with the assistance of The Sydney Opera House Trust. Activities performed in a controlled environment under the supervision of professionals.**