Sydney Opera House will reopen the modernized concert hall on July 20
After two years of extensive renovations, the Sydney Opera House will reopen the historic concert hall on July 20, 2022 with a grand performance by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
The NSW government-funded upgrade is the biggest and final project of the Opera House’s decade of renewal – a 10-year capital works program totaling nearly $300 million to upgrade the iconic World Heritage-listed masterpiece ahead of its 50th anniversary in 2023.
The complex renovation and transformation of the Concert Hall, the Opera’s largest performance space, combines respect for heritage with cutting-edge technological innovations, including state-of-the-art theater machinery and stage systems. technology, which will better equip the venue to present an ambitious range of performances, from classical music to contemporary concerts, theater and beyond.
In addition to better acoustics for performers and audiences in orchestral and amplified mode, the renovation ensures better access for people with reduced mobility and provides a more flexible and safer working environment for backstage staff.
“The concert hall is the beating heart of the Opera. The renewal of this magnificent performance space will ensure that the Opera House remains relevant and contemporary to people in NSW and around the world. The New South Wales Government is proud to have supported this important project, which will secure our country’s most important cultural icon for the next generation, with a positive and lasting impact on the community for years to come. said Arts Minister Ben Franklin.
Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron said: “We are delighted to welcome the community back to the renovated concert hall. Performers and audiences alike are ready to experience world-class acoustics in a venue that is more accessible, safer and better equipped to present the full breadth of 21st century performance. We have been working for this moment for a long time and are extremely grateful to the Government of New South Wales and everyone else involved in making this once in a lifetime project a reality.
Improved acoustics for a better listening experience
- 18 new acoustic reflectors above the stage replace the old clear acrylic “doughnuts”. These “acoustic petals” are placed in a range of different positions, depending on the music being played.
- Special acoustic diffusion panels have been added to the wooden facades of the hall, allowing for a more balanced and truer sound for unamplified performances.
- A new state-of-the-art sound system has also improved room capacity for amplified performances.
State-of-the-art staging and theater systems
- Automated stage risers will allow musicians, especially classical musicians who typically sit in a horseshoe formation, to hear themselves more clearly.
- The new automated draping system will make it easier to switch from orchestral to amplified mode, and will dampen reverberation and create a fuller, richer sound for amplified music.
- The new theater flight system installed above the ceiling will make it easier and safer to fly a wider range of lighting and scenery, allowing for larger scale and more ambitious performances.
- The stage has been lowered by 400mm to improve sightlines and create more privacy between performers and audience.
Improved Access and Other Improvements
- A new elevator and passage improve accessibility, allowing wheelchair users and those with limited mobility to independently access all levels of the concert hall, including its spectacular North Foyer, some for the first time.
- Double the number of accessible seats, including options in stalls and dressing rooms.
- Two new rehearsal rooms, funded by the late Peter Weiss, for artists who use the concert hall.