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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.”

The Google Cultural Institute

You don't have to visit the Opera House to get to know it. Explore the Opera House's rich history and vibrant present through 50 interactive online exhibits on the Google Cultural Institute. Pore over architect Jørn Utzon’s original sketches. Stand on stage with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra or Flying Lotus. Experience the Opera House as few get to see it - waking up, in rehearsal and at rest.


Ground-breaking, Culture-shaping

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. 


Risk-taking, History-making


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

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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