New design unveiled for Sydney Opera House

Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s conductor David Robertson was never impressed with the acoustics of the Sydney Opera House, where his orchestra is based. The sound lacked details and, when he visited several concert halls on a tour in China, he had the feeling he was hearing the orchestra for the first time.

Harbour Bridge and Opera House
Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Robertson’s plights have been heeded as major new design plans have been announced for Sidney’s famous Opera House. In order to insure minimum disruption to the current program schedule, renovations will be staggered.

The Concert Hall, which is the largest internal performing space, will get a significant upgrade both in acoustics and flexibility in the stage and seating areas. Renovations will take 18 months beginning in mid 2019, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra will relocate for the time being.

The Joan Sutherland Theater will be renovated in 2017 and remain closed for seven months. In addition, office spaces will be converted into a child and family-friendly Creative Learning Center.

This is set to be the first major upgrade to the structure since it opened 43 years ago but fear not, the sail-inspired outer structure will remain the same.

The New South Wales Government will invest AUS$202 million (117 million GBP) which, if put into perspective, does not look like too big of a sum: The Opera House, The Telegraph reports, contributes $775 million per year to the New South Wales Economy.