The Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia will undergo a major renovation, its largest since opening in 1973.
The New South Wales (NSW) Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant, announced that the NSW Government has committed $202 million to the renewal plans, which include the following: upgrade the acoustics, accessibility, efficiency and flexibility of the Opera House’s largest internal performance space, the Concert Hall; transform office space into a new Creative Learning Centre, a dedicated place for children, families and young people; remove the existing intrusive marquee from the Northern Broadwalk, and build a premium Function Centre within the building envelope; and create a welcoming, car-free entrance under the Monumental Steps, and improve access to a more comfortable and inviting main foyer.
The Opera House contributes $775 million annually to the NSW economy. Grant said the plans will ensure the Opera House is able to meet the increasing popularity of Australia’s leading tourist destination and busiest performing arts centre.
“The Sydney Opera House is the symbol of modern Australia. It is our responsibility as custodians of this extraordinary place to maintain and renew it for all Australians,” Grant said. “That’s why we are investing more than $200 million in these wonderful projects, which represent the biggest upgrade to the Opera House since it opened 43 years ago.”
Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM added: “The Opera House, a ‘masterpiece of human creative genius’, belongs to us all and is central to our identity as Australians. These Renewal projects are designed to ensure the Opera House continues to evolve, welcoming and inspiring people in as many ways as possible. The Opera House has exceeded everyone’s expectations, from the scale, range and intensity of performances and events to the wide variety of visitors it attracts from around the world. So much of what the Opera House does today could not have been envisaged when it was first conceived and built. It is crucial that as we work through these renewal projects we respect our incredible heritage. The Opera House has worked incredibly hard for us all and it is wonderful that, thanks to our greatest supporter, the NSW Government, the upgrades and improvements it needs are now under way.”
The Concert Hall upgrade is expected to take 18 months to complete. Construction will begin in mid-2019, and the hall will reopen with the SSO’s 2021 season. For more information visit sydneyoperahouse.com/renewal.