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Little Dragon in the Concert Hall. Image: Daniel Boud

Who we are

The Sydney Opera House embodies the cultural aspirations of our nation. Since its opening in 1973 it has held a unique position in Australian society. It is a timeless, World Heritage-listed architectural icon brought to life daily by artists from home and abroad who bring the widest possible range of performance to our audiences.

The local Gadigal people knew the land on which the Opera House stands as Tubowgule, a reference to the creative energy liberated here, where salt and fresh water combine. For thousands of years it was a gathering place for storytelling, ceremony and celebration. It now supports a modern wonder, which in turn honours our First Nations people through celebration and artistic works.

As a major performing arts centre that embraces traditional forms as well as leading edge contemporary performance and ideas, we have an important part to play in the development and growth of the arts.

The Opera House, which is one of the world’s busiest arts centres, has a responsibility to engage genuinely and meaningfully with the entire community. We make a pledge to embrace the performing arts in all their diversity, from traditional forms to leading-edge contemporary performance and ideas.

These aspirations are guided by our organisation’s Mission:

  • To treasure and renew the Opera House for future generations of audiences, artists and visitors; &
  • To inspire, and strengthen the community, through everything we do. 

In fulfilling that Mission we must balance our obligations as a presenting organisation, performance home to our Resident Companies and venue for commercial hirers. Our goal is to ensure sustainable investment in creativity, strengthened artistic offering and programming across a broad spectrum.

Our Vision is simple:

  • To be as bold and inspiring as the Opera House itself.

Homeground festival. Image: Simon Li

What we deliver

780

performances a year by our Resident Companies

700

performances a year by Sydney Opera House Presents

1.5 million

attendances to performances annually

400,000

attendances at Sydney Opera House Presents productions annually

130,000

people attend performances for young audiences annually

8,000

students participate in our Digital Creative Learning Program every year