In 2015 the Opera House announced that it would self-fund a $45 million Renewal project to replace theatre equipment that has reached the end of its operational life in the Joan Sutherland Theatre, improving reliability, functionality and safety in world-famous theatre.
Improvements will include:
- A new theatre flying system that will be quieter, safer and more reliable;
- An improved grid deck providing a more flexible system of hoists; and
- A better rigging system as well as a new bridge for rigging lights.
The theatre will be closed for seven months from May to December 2017.
To maximise outcomes during the closure period, the NSW Government has committed a further $26 million towards additional upgrades to improve functionality, accessibility, acoustics and safety in the theatre.
Subject to required planning and heritage approvals, these further works include:
- Upgrades to the orchestra pit and the installation of a new acoustic enhancement system to better distribute orchestral sound through the venue;
- Partial replacement of the auditorium lighting, a new sound console and follow spot room;
- A new passageway on the western side of the Joan Sutherland Theatre leading to a new lift that provides access - including wheelchair access - to all levels of the Joan Sutherland Theatre Northern Foyer (these works are expected to be completed by mid-2018); and
- Six additional female toilets and one accessible bathroom.
Download the Joan Sutherland Theatre fact sheet