The Story Begins Here

Sydney Opera House

The perfect place to start your experience of Sydney Opera House on Google Cultural Institute.

A brief overview of the Sydney Opera House on Google Cultural Institute.

The Sydney Opera House is the symbol of modern Australia, a World Heritage-listed masterpiece synonymous with inspiration and creativity.

Fusing ancient and modernist influences, its sculptural elegance has made it one of the most recognisable buildings of the 20th century.

Since opening in 1973, the Sydney Opera House has been home to many of the world’s greatest artists and performances as well as a meeting place for matters of local and international significance. In this it continues a tradition that has taken place on Bennelong Point, known to the Eora people as Tubowgule, for thousands of years.

From its inception, the Sydney Opera House project was an extraordinary act of dreaming in public; a work of art built for the performance of works of art and brought to life by people who believed in the power of imagination, inspiration and creativity to mould a better, more enlightened community.

Realising the dream took visionaries and pragmatists, politicians and architects, engineers, artists and, most fundamentally, the people of Australia. At the Sydney Opera House’s 40th Anniversary in 2013, the extraordinary windfall Australia has reaped from the vision and daring of previous generations was underlined, when Deloitte estimated the iconic or national-identity value of a building built for more than $100 million at $4.6 billion.
Today the Opera House is one of the world’s busiest performing arts centres and Australia’s number one tourist destination, hosting 8.2 million people and 2000 shows for more than 1.4 million people a year.
At its 40th Anniversary, the Opera House also launched a Decade of Renewal to prepare it for future generations of artists, audiences and visitors.
In this exhibit, explore the many and diverse stories that make up the story of the Sydney Opera House, from the history of the building and its extraordinary creators to the uniquely diverse performances and events that have taken place on Bennelong Point.

The significance of Bennelong Point from the exhibit, "Where the knowledge waters meet."

The Wordless Orchestra performing Never Tear Us Apart, by INXS.

Some of the many exhibits to explore.

Explore the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House.

Resident Companies of Bangarra Theatre and the Australian Ballet.

The National, from the exhibit "The Eighth Stage."

Explore Bennelong Point during the Vivid Festival.

Jørn Utzon at a drafting table from the exhibit "Hellebæk."

Illustrating the principles of the spherical geometry developed by architect Jørn Utzon as a solution to the roof of Sydney Opera House. Further explored in "The Masterful Solution" exhibit.

Neil Finn and Paul Kelly from the exhibit "The Eighth Stage."

Alain de Botton from the exhibit "A Meeting Place for Ideas."

The Utzon Room, from the exhibit "The Master's Chamber."

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra performs Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde Act I.


The Joan Sutherland Theatre.

Credits: Story

Curated by Sam Doust
Produced by Rebecca Taylor
Edited by Brook Turner and Monica Crouch
Content coordination assisted by Josh Milch


Sydney Opera House Wolanski Archive Collection
Australian Broadcasting Corporation Library Sales
Bangarra Dance Theatre
Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation as part of The Scottish Ten
Fairfax Syndication
Government of the State of New South Wales
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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