Sidney Opera House

In October 2013 the Sidney Opera House celebrates its 40th anniversary. The celebration starts with a concert of the Australian World Orchestra. Forty years after the Australian expatriate Charles Mackerras conducted the opening concert, his nephew Alexander Briger brings a new generation of Australians home to perform under the shells. Briger’s 2013 Australian World Orchestra (AWO) program unites more than one hundred of Australia’s finest classical musicians under the baton of Zubin Mehta. Sixty-one of the orchestra’s 107 performers are drawn from more than 30 international orchestras, including the Berlin, Vienna and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras and the Chicago and London Symphony orchestras. This year’s program includes Igor Stravinsky’s revolutionary The Rite of Spring – in the centenary year of its debut performance – and Gustav Mahler’s first and most popular symphony.

The 40th   Anniversary Concert as such is planned for October 27 and will feature an exceptional line-up of artists. The Concert will close with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performing the work that opened the Opera House in October 1973, Beethoven’s 9th  Symphony, featuring soloists from Opera Australia and the vocal heft of the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.

The celebrations cannot hide major construction problems in the house which is part of the World Heritage. In fact, the 40th anniversary is also the start of a decade-long process of regeneration culminating in its 50th anniversary in 2023.

In 40 years the Opera House has played a central role in Australia’s life and identity. Since opening in 1973 more than 65 million people have seen shows, nine million people have taken a tour and millions more have visited the precinct or engaged online. The Opera House is the world’s busiest performing arts centre, with seven performance venues open 363 days a year, offering audiences the opportunity to experience the best the world has to offer in every performing arts genre.

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