Australia’s iconic Sydney Opera House (SOH) celebrates its 50th anniversary this October. To mark the occasion at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, a month-long festival of music, dance, theatre, art, and free community events will mark the anniversary, culminating in an open house on its birthday weekend October 21 – 22.
- Immersive portrait of Sydney and its people via a giant catwalk erected on the Forecourt
- Dance-theatre work called Message in a Bottle, featuring songs by Sting
- Performances from one of the world’s finest chamber orchestras, Academy of St Martin in the Fields
- NEW First Nations public artwork unveiling, created using 100,000+ oyster shells by Quandamooka artist Megan Cope.
- Talk by Jan and Lin Utzon on the legacy of their father, the Opera House architect Jørn Utzon
- NEW Global music video Directed by Cannes award-winning Director Kim Gehrig debuting in October(Apple, The New York Times)
- NEW Indigenous restaurant Midden by Mark Olive by famed First Nations Chef Mark Olive
- SOH by the numbers: A 22-story architectural marvel, over 10,000 pipes in the Grand Organ, and 1000% over budget. Did you know if all 14 of the Opera House’s giant stylized, sail-shaped shells were combined it would create a solid sphere? More incredible SOH facts and little-known pieces of history are here.
- Sustainability and SOH: Fifty years ago, visionary Opera House architect Jørn Utzon embedded sustainability principles such as an innovative seawater cooling system planning for a 250-year lifespan. The SOH achieved a 6 Star Green Star Performance rating from the Green Building Council Australia, and Carbon Neutral certification in 2018 under Climate Active – five years ahead of schedule.
- Preparing SOH for the next 50 years – decade of renewal: The SOH has extensive plans and ambitious global goals set for the future across restoration, sustainability, accessibility, environmental, Indigenous heritage, economic, educational sectors and more.
- Innovations in the building of the SOH: The road to creating a World Heritage-listed masterpiece and symbol of modern Australia was not without conflict, politics, creative differences and more turmoil.