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The Opera House shells under construction, 1965. Image: Max Dupain, State Library of NSW
House Stories Podcast Image: Image: The Opera House shells under construction, 1965. Image: Max Dupain, State Library of NSW

House Stories

Season 2 coming 13 June

Our popular House Stories podcast returns with new episodes unearthing brand new stories from the Opera House, blending behind-the-scenes stories of the building’s transformation for the 21st century, with captivating tales about the artists and performances on our stages, and much, much more.

The 2022 series premieres on 13 June, with the first four episodes delving into stories about the Concert Hall and the people and performances that have made it what it is. Through the lens of its renewal – we explore the history of this iconic space and how we are transforming it for the 21st Century. The season also features deep dives into two very special shows being staged across the Summer months - subscribe to keep to date with episode announcements.

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Season 1: The Tapestries

New episodes released weekly 

Design enthusiast, award winning comedian and broadcaster Tim Ross explores the incredible stories behind the four Sydney Opera House tapestries. 

Unravel how the iconic John Coburn’s Curtain of the Sun and Curtain of the Moon, Le Corbusier’s Les Dés Sont Jetés (‘The Die Is Cast’) and Jørn Utzon’s Homage to C.P.E Bach tapestries came to be designed for the Opera House. Plus, take a deeper look at the tapestry artform, their cultural and artistic significance and the future of these masterpieces.

Episode 4: Utzon Tapestry: Homage to C.P.E Bach

The final episode explores Jørn Utzon’s tapestry Homage to C.P.E Bach as an expression of music through design and representation of reconciliation. Architect Richard Johnson discusses the process of re-engaging with Utzon nearly four decades after he left the project, the design of the Utzon Room – the only Opera House performance venue entirely designed by Utzon – where the tapestry hangs, and the ongoing application of Utzon’s Design Principles that help ensure the building’s architectural integrity is maintained as it evolves to meet the expectations of future generations.

Episode 3: Le Corbusier's Les
Dés sont Jetés

The mystery of the missing tapestry. In this episode, Professor Antony Moulis recalls how in the early 2000s he discovered the correspondence of an unknown tapestry commissioned by Jørn Utzon for the Opera House, designed by acclaimed modernist architect Le Corbusier. How did these two great architects come to collaborate and why was this medieval artform embraced by modernist architects and artists in the 20th century? How did the tapestry end up in Utzon’s home before resurfacing at an auction house, and why did it have mashed potato on it? Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM tells the story of how this incredible work of art finally found its way home.

Episode 2: Coburn Tapestries

Conversation and Restoration

The story of how John Coburn’s iconic tapestries came to be hung in the theatres once again in 2019. But why had they been taken down and ultimately decommissioned in the 1980s? This episode features interviews with artist Kristin Coburn and conservator Julian Bickersteth to explore how the tapestries were made and their restoration process and conservation challenges.

Episode 1: Coburn Tapestries
The Sun and the Moon

In 1969, architect Peter Hall commissioned John Coburn, an Australian modern abstract artist to design the Sydney Opera House opera and drama theatre curtains that were celebrated at the opening of the Opera House in 1973.

This episode explores the design and creation of John Coburn’s tapestries through the stories of his daughter, Kristin Coburn, and how the tapestries realise Jørn Utzon’s design vision for celebrating performance with colour through Australian architect’s Peter Hall’s interior design.

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Tapestries

The four tapestries that call the Opera House home reveal fascinating stories about our rich cultural heritage and design legacy. Delve into the stories behind these famous tapestries through podcasts, playlists, Google’s digital museum exhibits, videos and more.

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Coburn Tapestries: Education resources

Explore the tapestries in your classroom with our resources and hands-on art activities for Years 3 to 12.

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Listen to It’s a Long Story - Podcast

Hear the stories behind the big ideas of some of Sydney Opera House's most influential and acclaimed guests. Listen here.

Introducing the Stream app


 Turn your living room into a theatre or watch on the go. The Stream app gives you access to world-class performing arts wherever you are.