Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House. Photo by Dan Boud

Sydney Opera House. Photo by Dan Boud

World Heritage Listed Sydney Opera House is the symbol of modern Australia, the nation’s premier tourism destination and one of the busiest performing arts centres in the world.  

A masterpiece that belongs to all Australians, the Sydney Opera House occupies a unique place in the cultural landscape. As Australia’s premier tourist destination, a world-class performing arts centre and celebrated community meeting place, it welcomes almost 11 million visitors annually, presenting more than 1,800 performances to almost 1.4 million people, and hosting more than 560,000 patrons on a guided tour of the building. The Opera House contributes $1.2 billion to the national economy each year and has a cultural and iconic value estimated at $6.2 billion.

In the lead-up to its 50th anniversary in 2023, the Opera House is undertaking a ten year program of extensive upgrades to the building and site, to transform the world famous icon for the 21st century. The major capital works program, totaling more than $275 million is largely funded by the NSW Government, with additional investment from the Opera House. The suite of projects will renew the building for future generations of artists, audience and visitors. Completed works include an upgrade to the Joan Sutherland Theatre, including a new accessible passageway; a new events and functions space, Yallamundi Rooms; and upgrades to site entry and foyer spaces. The program is due for completion in 2022 with the re-opening of the Concert Hall, which is undergoing works that will mean better sound, improved access, more ambitious performances and safer work environment, and the opening of a new Creative Learning Centre.

The Vehicle Access and Pedestrian Safety (VAPS) project, wholly funded by the NSW Government and the largest construction project undertaken since the building was opened, is currently underway and will be completed in 2014. Building on VAPS, the Opera House is developing a Masterplan with support from the NSW Government to transform the Opera House for future generations of audiences, artists and visitors.