"It stands by itself as one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only in the 20th century but in the history of humankind." Expert evaluation report to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, 2007.
Fusing ancient and modernist influences, the sculptural elegance of the Sydney Opera House has made it one of the most recognisable buildings of the twentieth century, synonymous with inspiration and creativity. As Pritzker Prize judge, Frank Gehry, said when awarding architecture’s highest award in 2003: "[Jørn] Utzon made a building well ahead of its time, far ahead of available technology... a building that changed the image of an entire country."
Built to "help mould a better and more enlightened community," in the words of then New South Wales Premier Joseph Cahill, Sydney Opera House has, since opening in 1973, been home to many of the world’s greatest artists and performances and a meeting place for matters of local and international significance. Today it is one of the world’s busiest performing arts centres and Australia’s number one destination, presenting uniquely diverse experiences to more than 8.2 million visitors, 363 days a year.
Those experiences range from the work of seven flagship performing arts companies – Opera Australia, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Theatre Company, The Australian Ballet, Bell Shakespeare and Bangarra Dance Theatre – to burgeoning contemporary music, talks-and-ideas and children’s programming, and award-winning restaurants and bars.
As the Opera House approaches its 45th Anniversary in 2018, a year that also marks the centenary of architect Jørn Utzon’s birth, a suite of projects is underway to renew the building for future generations of artists, audiences and visitors. As part of this Renewal, the Opera House is committed to bringing the vision and ambition that inspired its creation to all that it does. Google Cultural Institute provides an unparalleled opportunity to share the many facets of the Opera House, past, present and future, with people wherever they are.