Tapestries at the House
The four tapestries that call the Opera House home reveal fascinating stories about the Opera House’s 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.
The tapestries reflect Danish architect Jørn Utzon’s design intent for the interior of the Opera House, where he envisioned the use of modern art and vibrant colour to heighten audience members’ sense of anticipation as they took their seats. This vision for the building was in part implemented by Australian architect Peter Hall, who completed the interiors of the Opera House and implemented Utzon’s ideas through his own design lens.
Delve into the stories behind these famous tapestries by tuning into our podcast series and playlists inspired by the works, exploring the exhibits on Google's digital museum platform, watching their colourful history and making unfold through one of our videos, or getting creative with the kids with a range of activities.
Stream, read & listen
Restoring the Coburn Tapestries
The story of how the curtains came to be hung again.
The making of the Coburn Tapestries
John Coburn describes the weaver's craft in Felletin, France.
The Coburn Tapestries return to our stages
In May 2019, the tapestries were exhibited for public viewing for the first time in over a decade.
About the design of the Coburn Tapestries
Find out more about Coburn's abstract style and inspiration for the two curtains.
Hanging the Coburn Tapestries
Watch this time lapse of the Curtain of the Sun being hung in the Joan Sutherland Theatre.
Exhibiting the Coburn Tapestries
The exhibition of the Curtain of the Sun and Curtain of the Moon in their original theatre homes.
Rosso’s tapestry obsession
Tim Ross, design enthusiast and presenter, has become fixated with the Opera House's historic tapestries – so much so he's hosting a podcast about them.
Le Corbusier tapestry, Les Dés Sont Jetés
The untold story of a collaboration between two of the 20th century’s greatest architects
House Stories Season 1: The Tapestries
Design enthusiast, comedian and broadcaster Tim Ross takes us through the archives to 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.
Resources and activities for at home or in the classroom.
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