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Sydney Opera House will undergo a major renewal, closing the Concert Hall for 18 months
Written by
Emma Joyce

Today, the NSW Government unveiled designs for a revamped and more accessible Sydney Opera House, including upgrading the acoustics and flexibility of the main performance space, the Concert Hall.

The renewal will mean part of the building will be closed for long periods of time; the Concert Hall upgrade is expected to take 18 months to complete. Construction is expected to begin in mid-2019.

It’ll be the most significant upgrade to the building since it opened 43 years ago. Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM said the Opera House “belongs to us all and is central to our identity as Australians.” The NSW Government has committed $202 million to the project, which will modernise the facilities while remaining true to the heritage architecture designed by Jørn Utzon.

Sydney Opera House Function Centre
The new function centre on the Western Broadwalk
Image: Sydney Opera House

The major upgrades include:

Creating a new Creative Learning Centre for children, families and young people.

Building a new function centre on the Northern Broadwalk.

Improving access to the main foyer.

Overhaul acoustics, accessibility, efficiency and flexibility of the Concert Hall.

Sydney Opera House Creative Learning Centre
The Creative Learning Centre will replace office space
Image: Sydney Opera House

In addition, the Joan Sutherland Theatre will close from May to December next year for a $45 million self-funded project to improve safety and reliability for the space.

Sydney Opera House says that while the Joan Sutherland Theatre closes for seven months in 2017, the House’s five other performance stages, plus food and beverage outlets, will remain open and fully operational. This same will be the case during the Concert Hall closure.

Upcoming events at Sydney Opera House include the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, five-star opera Cosi Fan Tutte, stand-up shows from Margaret Cho, Alan Carr and Trevor Noah, and a much-anticipated concert by the Stone Roses

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