A Backstage Pass

The Sydney Opera House is the quintessential working building. Behind the scenes are the fascinating details of everyday life in this busy, remarkable home to culture.

By Sydney Opera House

Toward the Stage Door and other entrances beneath the Monumental Steps (2012) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Much of the Sydney Opera House’s inner workings are folded away, out of sight, of the public and performance spaces. A maze of corridors, dressing and rehearsal rooms, stage machinery, the administrative and logistical spaces that enable widely different productions in a building that is alive with performance 363 days a year.

Actors, dancers, musicians, stage crew, artists and administrators all share these spaces in preparation for the performances to come.

Rehearsal room props (2016) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Rehearsal room (2016) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Rehearsal room (2016) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

The Australian Ballet's Kevin Jackson and Benedicte Bemet in Sydney Opera House’s studio rehearsing the main roles for David McAllister’s The Sleeping Beauty, Kate Longley, 2015, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Music stand, rehearsal room, Sam Doust, 2016, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Rehearsal door, Sam Doust, 2016, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Rehearsal room, Sam Doust, 2016, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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The Naughty Chair, rehearsal room (2016) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

The Ship Song Project (2011) by Sydney Opera HouseSydney Opera House

Reggie Watts in his dressing room (2009) by Sydney Opera HouseSydney Opera House

Marilyn Zschau's dressing room before Aida (1984) by Branco GaicaSydney Opera House

Dressing room (2016) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Piano, dressing room (2016) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

View to Circular Quay from a dressing room (2016) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Production Store (2016) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Corridor, backstage, Sam Doust, 2016, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Rehearsals in 1973, Max Dupain, 1973, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Chief executive's office in 1973, Max Dupain, 1973, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Major Hall, above the Western Foyer, Sam Doust, 2012, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Looking down the ribs of the vaulted shell roof (2012) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

A doodle near the apex of one the concrete ribs of Shell A2 (2012) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

A phone in the far reaches of the roof of the Major Hall (2012) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Rafters (2012) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Hatchway leading onto the outside of the roof (2012) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Looking onto the harbour from the top of Shell A2 (2012) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Balcony of the corporate offices (2012) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Utzon Room looking south toward the Concourse beams (2012) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Utzon Room, detail of the Concourse beams (2012) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Utzon Room, detail of the Concourse beams (2012) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

The Utzon Room looking northwest toward the Utzon tapestry (2012) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Joan Sutherland Theatre, stage control (2012) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Stage management and prompt in the wings of the Joan Sutherland Theatre.

Stage machinery down (2012) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Detail of stage machinery, Joan Sutherland Theatre.

Joan Sutherland Theatre, a powerboard, Sam Doust, 2012, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Joan Sutherland Theatre, rigging, Sam Doust, 2012, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Joan Sutherland Theatre: view from the stage, Latchkey, 2015, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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View from Grand Organ onto Concert Hall stage (2012) by Sam DoustSydney Opera House

Concert Hall lighting (2015) by Paul NajorSydney Opera House

Concert Hall, crown lights (2015) by LatchkeySydney Opera House

Credits: Story

Created by Sam Doust and the
Sydney Opera House GCI Team

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Contributors:
Latchkey
State Library of New South Wales

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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