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Birdseye view of the Opera House sails, with Sydney Harbour in the background

Our Story

How in the mid-1950s, Australia and a man from Denmark created a sculpture on Sydney Harbour and changed the course of twentieth-century architecture.

“A building that changed the image of an entire country”

Fusing ancient and modernist influences, and situated on a site sacred to the Gadigal people for thousands of years, the sculptural elegance of the Sydney Opera House has made it one of the symbols of twentieth century architecture - a building that, to quote US architect Frank Gehry, “changed the image of an entire country.”

A composite image of details from Sydney Opera Hpuse's tapestries

Tapestries at the House 

The four tapestries that call the Opera House home reveal fascinating stories about our rich cultural heritage and design legacy.

The Sydney Opera House tapestries - Le Corbusier’s Les Dés sont Jetés or The Die Is Cast (1960), John Coburn’s Curtain of the Sun and Curtain of the Moon (1973), and Jørn Utzon’s Homage to Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (2004) – are all strikingly beautiful works of modern art.

Delve into the stories behind these famous tapestries through podcasts, playlists, Google’s digital museum exhibits, videos and more. 


man playing violin in opera house at dusk

The Global Goals

The Sydney Opera House is proud to be the first major Australian arts institution to commit to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – a to-do list for the world to address some of the most pressing issues of our time, including inequality, education and climate change. Find out how we are turning this commitment into action through our latest Accessibility, Environmental and Reconciliation community action plans.


back cover of utzon's yellow book 1962
Back cover of the Yellow Book, 1962. Image: State Archives NSW

House History

Synonymous with inspiration and imagination, the Sydney Opera House is one of the most recognisable buildings of the twentieth century. Meet the visionaries, idealists, architects, engineers, pragmatists and artists who built an artwork and filled it with works of art. 



concert hall lit blue during concert


A wonder of 20th century architecture, the Sydney Opera House is being renewed for the 21st. Learn about the projects that will open new areas to the public, replace technology and machinery that has reached the end of its working life and ensure the Opera House is equipped to welcome as many people in as many ways as possible.


Early designs of the Sydney Opera House. Image: State Records NSW
Early designs of the Sydney Opera House. Image: State Records NSW

The Opera House Project

Forty years have now passed since the inauguration of the Opera House and the beginning of an incredible legacy of performances and events which are explored herein.

The ABC's Opera House Project arose out of an idea to document Sydney Opera House in an innovative digital environment, enabling a worldwide audience to experience the story of one of the greatest buildings of the Twentieth Century.


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Open the Opera House

Your gift today helps to make sure that everyone in our community can have their own inspiring Opera House experience, no matter what challenges they face.

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Gift Voucher - buy now

Give the gift of an unforgettable experience. Delivered online or in person at the Sydney Opera House Box Office.


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