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Sydney Opera House History 1966 - 1972

1966 - 1972 History

1966 - 1972 History

1966 (28 February)

Utzon withdraws from project

With bills mounting, Utzon submits a letter of withdrawal to Davis Hughes, NSW Minister for Public Works.


1966 (3 March)

Public protest in support of Utzon

On 3 March, 1000 people march on State Parliament House demanding Utzon’s reinstatement. Patrick White, who later won the Nobel Prize for Literature, along with Australia’s foremost architect Harry Seidler, present Premier Robert Askin with a 3000-signature petition demanding Utzon’s reinstatement.


1966 (19 April)

Hall, Todd & Littlemore appointed as architects for Stage 3

Davis Hughes appoints a new panel of Australian architects to complete the Opera House:  Peter Hall (in charge of design), DS Littlemore (in charge of supervision), Lionel Todd (in charge of documents) and EH Farmer (Chief Architect of NSW and chairman of panel).


1967 (17 January)

Stage 2 completed

Installation of the last (2,194th) precast shell segment on 17 January effectively marks completion of Stage 2.


1967 (21 March)

Minister for Public Works announces no opera facilities in Major Hall

At the request of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) the NSW Government changes the proposed larger opera hall into the concert hall because symphony concerts, managed by the ABC, were more popular and drew larger audiences than opera.

The Major Hall becomes a single purpose concert hall seating 2,800 and the minor hall is changed from a drama theatre to an opera theatre.


1967 (September)

Stuart Bacon begins his tenure as the first General Manager of Sydney Opera House.


1969 (1 May)

Sir Philip Baxter, KBE, CMG, begins tenure as Chairman of the Sydney Opera House Trust

Prior to the appointment, the Trust Act was revised and the Trust reconstituted with reduced membership and Sir Philip Baxter as first Chairman.


1972 (17 December)

Sir Bernard Heinze acclaims Concert Hall acoustics in test performance

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Bernard Heinze, gives a test performance in the Concert Hall on 17 December, 1972. The audience comprises construction workers and their families and also includes music critics.

Image credit: Arup and Fairfax

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