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The Opera House: Celebrating 40

The Opera House:

Celebrating 40

The Opera House:

Celebrating 40

Message from the Minister

  • The Sydney Opera House's 40th anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate its central role in the NSW community and economy.
  • It is an internationally recognised symbol of NSW and Australia, the nation's premier performing arts centre and a World Heritage listed masterpiece that belongs to everyone.
  • Since opening in 1973 the Opera House has entertained audiences in excess of 65 million. It attracts more than 8 million people each year. In 2011-12 alone, more than 1,800 performances were enjoyed by 1.4 million people.
    • It is also the most famous Australian-Danish collaboration, which makes it particularly appropriate that Denmark's Crown Prince Couple will be visiting Sydney in October as patrons of the Opera House's 40th celebrations.
    • I am delighted to welcome them to Sydney to be part of the local, interstate and international communities that will join in the Opera House's 40th Anniversary celebrations. The Hon. George Souris MP
      NSW Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Arts

Chairman's Message

  • The Opera House's 40th Anniversary marks the beginning of a decade of renewal to safeguard Australia's most celebrated building and the nation’s most valuable piece of cultural and tourism infrastructure. The $13.7 million recently announced by the NSW Government for 2014/15 is a vital step in that process, one that will fund a Master Plan to define and scope the projects that will preserve and enhance the Opera House. The contribution of the Opera House to Australia's cultural vibrancy is enormous. Since 1973, it has entertained audiences in excess of 65 million. In 2011-12 alone more than 1,800 performances were enjoyed by 1.4 million people.

    Our October Anniversary reminds us how much this building has come to mean to Australia. As Chairman of the Opera House Trust, I see it as a pivotal moment, one that I hope will help galvanise the support of the local, national and international communities for the important work ahead. Please join us as we celebrate this important milestone. Kim Williams AM
    Chairman

CEO's Message

  • It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the Opera House's 40th Anniversary, a milestone in the life of our most famous building.
  • The Opera House was conceived six decades ago to embody the hopes of a young country and help mould - in then-Premier Joseph Cahill's words - a better, more enlightened community.
    • The scale of those ambitions is breathtaking looking back, particularly for a single building, which somehow makes their realisation all the more remarkable. Forty years after it was first opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Opera House remains central to Australia's life and identity.
    • In part that is because it is much more than a building - even one dubbed a masterpiece of human creative genius by UNESCO.
    • There is a living creature within the Opera House's famous shells, its heart is the art performed on our stages - which continues to express our ambitions as a country, particularly through the work of our resident companies. Its pulse is the 8.2 million people who throng here each year, from the Concert Hall to our restaurants and broadwalks.
    • Which is why this masterpiece of 20th Century organic architecture must continue to evolve. We are about to embark on a master-planning process, with the help of the NSW Government, which will result in a blueprint for our future. That blueprint will be for an Opera House that meets the challenges of 21st century performances and our visitors' expectations; one that retains its central role for future generations of artists, audiences and visitors.
    • For the Opera House, in a very real sense, life begins - again - at forty. I hope that you will join us for our October Anniversary and all that follows. Louise Herron, AM
      CEO

Jan Utzon's Message

  • Dear Sydney Opera House
  • We, the whole Utzon family, congratulate you on your 40th anniversary.
  • Your life has been ours since your conception.
  • You are a beautiful 40 year old. You are loved by all and cared for by many.
  • You are known and famous throughout the World
    • Wherever your name is mentioned you bring smiles to people's eyes.
    • You have housed and nourished artists of every kind.
    • You have been and continue to be a global inspiration.
    • We all have so much to thank you for.
    • We shall look after you, care for you and make your feathers shine for the world to see and admire.
    • We look forward to celebrating you for decades to come, and to see where you will take us in the future.
    • Hurray and congratulations to you from past, present and future generations of Utzons. On behalf of the Utzon family,
      Jan Utzon

Message from the Minister

  • The Sydney Opera House's 40th anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate its central role in the NSW community and economy.
  • It is an internationally recognised symbol of NSW and Australia, the nation's premier performing arts centre and a World Heritage listed masterpiece that belongs to everyone.
  • Since opening in 1973 the Opera House has entertained audiences in excess of 65 million. It attracts more than 8 million people each year. In 2011-12 alone, more than 1,800 performances were enjoyed by 1.4 million people.
    • It is also the most famous Australian-Danish collaboration, which makes it particularly appropriate that Denmark's Crown Prince Couple will be visiting Sydney in October as patrons of the Opera House's 40th celebrations.
    • I am delighted to welcome them to Sydney to be part of the local, interstate and international communities that will join in the Opera House's 40th Anniversary celebrations. The Hon. George Souris MP
      NSW Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Arts