Project at a glance
The project is helping to improve the Opera House's acoustics, accessibility, safety and functionality, as well as to preserve its heritage and iconic status.
It's part of a series of renewal projects at the Sydney Opera House. It includes upgrades of the Joan Sutherland Theatre and Concert Hall.
The Joan Sutherland Theatre is one of the six venues within the Sydney Opera House, and the second largest with a capacity of 1,507 seats. It hosts about 330 performances of opera, ballet and other genres each year.
The Concert Hall is one of the world’s most sought-after performance venues. As a result of the renewal works it now provides improved acoustics and ambience for audiences.
“With its cathedral-like ambience and unrivalled majesty, to stand on this special stage is to deliver a performance to remember..”Source: Sydney Opera House
Who it is for
The refurbishment project is for everyone who uses and enjoys the Opera House's live performance spaces and facilities.
Who it involves
The refurbishment involves a collaboration between the Sydney Opera House, Create NSW, the resident companies (Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet and Sydney Philharmonia Choirs), and a team of consultants, contractors and specialists.
The project was overseen by a steering committee chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Planning and Environment.
The architects, designers and builders involved include:
- Scott Carver Architects
- Hansen Yuncken: The construction manager for the Joan Sutherland Theatre refurbishment.
Some of the special features of the refurbishment are:
- Design assessed against Utzon design principles.
- A new state-of-the-art theatre flying system that allows for faster and safer scenery changes and more creative possibilities.
- A new automated draping system that can adjust the acoustic environment for different types of performances, and a new sound system that provides better sound quality and clarity for amplified music.
- New accessibility features.
- New orchestra pit to accommodate different sized orchestras and arrangements.
- New, more durable and resilient stage floor.
- New rehearsal room.
For a timeline around the renewal and refurbishments, see Sydney Opera House website:
- Sydney Opera House | Decade of Renewal: The Sydney Opera House website, which provides details about its Renewal program and its venues