1998 (20 October)
Sydney Opera House celebrates 25th birthday
The month-long 25th birthday celebrations in October attract more than 85,000 people to Sydney Opera House.
At the heart of celebrations is the ‘Open House’ event that threw open the doors to welcome Sydneysiders and visitors to a day of discovery packed with free entertainment, activities and tours.
Michael Lynch, AM, begins his tenure as Chief Executive of Sydney Opera House.
1998 (6 April)
Utzon awarded ‘Keys to City’
Councillor Frank Sartor, the Mayor of Sydney, announces that Utzon has accepted the award of ‘the Keys of the City of Sydney.'
1998 (17 April)
Utzon awarded Denmark’s prestigious Sonning Prize
Utzon is awarded Denmark’s prestigious Sonning Prize for ‘an outstanding contribution toward the advancement of European Civilisation.'
1999 (1 August)
Utzon re-engaged as design consultant
Utzon is re-engaged as design consultant, working from Denmark through his son Jan and Sydney architect Richard Johnson, to develop a set of design principles for use as a reference point in all future development of the building and the site. These design principles aim to ensure that the character, quality and significance of Sydney Opera House is maintained and improved into the new millennium.
Utzon wrote in the foreword of ‘Building a masterpiece: the Sydney Opera House’, “My renewed contact with Sydney and my work with the refurbishment of the Opera House - brought about by the Sydney Opera House Trust and the Government of NSW under the administration of the then Premier, Bob Carr - has felt like a wonderful welcome back to Australia, a hand extended in the spirit of reconciliation, a hand I shake with warmth and gratitude.”
The Hon Bob Carr, NSW Premier opens The Studio - a refurbished venue for contemporary theatre
Formerly the recording hall, The Studio is a flexible performing space that can accommodate performances varying from spoken word to contemporary music, opening up an exciting range of opportunities for innovative performances.
2000 (15 September)
The Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympics
At dusk, swimmer Samantha Riley stands on top of the north apex of the Concert Hall arc of the Sydney Opera House roof and holds the torch aloft on the final leg of the flame’s journey to Stadium Australia for the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
A month before the Opening Ceremony, the Olympic Arts Festival opens with Opera Australia’s production of Don Giovanni by Mozart.
2002 (1 May)
Sydney Opera House releases Utzon Design Principles
Sydney Opera House releases ‘Utzon Design Principles’ as a permanent reference for the long-term management and conservation of the building.
Dr Norman Gillespie begins his tenure as Chief Executive of Sydney Opera House.
2003 (1 April)
Utzon awarded Pritzker Prize
Jørn Utzon is awarded the prestigious international Pritzker Prize for architecture in April, accepted by his son Jan in Madrid, and the building receives citation as a masterpiece of the twentieth century.
2003 (18 March)
Protesters paint ‘No War’ on the sails
Two protesters against Australia’s involvement in the Iraq war use paving paint to write the slogan ‘No War’ on the main sail of the Concert Hall. Jailed for their actions they later stated that they had been prepared to commit an offence to prevent a ‘greater crime’.
2003 (20 October)
Sydney Opera House celebrates its 30th birthday
Sydney Opera House celebrates its 30th birthday with a spectacular concert that uses symphony, opera, jazz, dance and multimedia projections. The program includes a world premiere performance of Meryl Tankard’s Pearl and the Sydney Symphony’s performance of works by some of Australia’s most illustrious composers and librettists.
2003 (3 December)
Sydney Opera House listed on State Heritage Register
Sydney Opera House is listed on the State Heritage Register following the completion of a comprehensive Conservation Plan.