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 new 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.
Learn about the history behind this great Australian story
House Stories: The Tapestries
With Tim Ross
In a brand new podcast, we uncover a fascinating part of the Opera House’s rich cultural heritage and design legacy, sharing the incredible stories behind the four Sydney Opera House 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.
This playlist is a mix-tape homage to the Curtain of the Sun and Moon tapestries famously designed by Coburn in one productive evening, to be hung in the Sydney Opera House’s Joan Sutherland Theatre and Drama Theatre respectively. Instantly, they caught and inspired the imaginations of Sydney Opera House visitors and audiences. Their modernist flare so effectively invites feelings of light and dark, of celebration and melancholy. It is the ebb and flow of these themes that power the timeless stories, ideas, operas, orchestral and other music works that have shaped the House.
This playlist is a reminder to take the time to rewind and recentre to allow yourself a journey of self-discovery – or rediscovery, as Gordi has done with her latest record.
Architecture in Sound
In a nod to Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier and his tapestry Les Dés Sont Jetés (The Dice Are Cast), this is a collection of music that champions form. Le Corbusier’s tapestry is impactful, with crimson, black and white shapes forming a harbor landscape. These composers shared Le Corbusier’s instinct for interrogating the fundamental building blocks of their craft to define (and re-define) our understanding of music and sound.
Delve into the stories of the tapestries
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.
Les Dés Sont Jetés (‘The Dice Are Cast’), the tapestry by the Swiss-French master Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier, was commissioned by Jørn Utzon in 1958, shortly after he won the competition for the design of the Sydney Opera House.
The untold story of a collaboration between two of the 20th century’s greatest architects
To learn more about our Tapestries, educational resources for years 3 - 12 are available here.
Help preserve the Opera House tapestries forever, for everyone.
Your gift goes directly to caring for and sharing the beauty of the Sydney Opera House tapestries. Together, we can protect these extraordinary artworks, preserve them for our children and grandchildren, and inspire our community through their stories.
The Opera House belongs to us all. Throughout its history, donations from generous people like you, one generation after another, have been invaluable in securing the future of our beloved national icon.
Your gift today makes sure your Opera House is for everyone, forever.
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