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Sydney Opera House announces full line-up for historic 40th Anniversary Concert

September 19, 2013 Lifestyle No Comments Email Email

An exceptional line-up of Australian talent has been announced for the Sydney Opera House 40th Anniversary Concert on Sunday, 27 October, 2013.

Deborah Mailman, Baz Luhrmann, Sarah Blasko, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, John Butler, Megan Washington, Paul Grabowsky and members of the Wharf Revue are among the stars who will join the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, artists from Opera Australia and the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs for the 40th Anniversary Concert.

The Concert will take place at twilight on the Opera House Forecourt, which will be returned to the people of Sydney for this historic event after three years of upgrades. MassiveAttack075bw.115501

It will begin with an innovative welcome to country and close with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performing the work that opened the Opera House in October 1973, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya and featuring soloists from Opera Australia and the vocal heft of the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.

The 40th Anniversary celebrations will draw on the Opera House’s extraordinary history and heritage, as Australia’s most famous building begins a decade of renewal.

Underlining the enduring links between Australia and Denmark first forged by the Opera House, Denmark’s Crown Prince Couple, HRH Crown Prince Federik and HRH Crown Princess Mary, will be present at the Concert as Patrons of the Anniversary celebrations, along with the family of Opera House architect Jørn Utzon.

Sydney Opera House CEO, Louise Herron AM, said: “I am thrilled that the 40th Anniversary Concert will feature such a rich seam of Australian talent across art forms, genres and generations. The Opera House was established to help transform a young nation. The Anniversary Concert shows the vitality of Australian culture four decades on, as we embark on a decade of renewal to ensure the Opera House can continue transforming Australian life.”

The NSW Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Arts, George Souris said the Sydney Opera House 40th anniversary concert provided a wonderful opportunity for the people of NSW to join in the celebrations honouring one of the world’s greatest performance spaces. “Over the past 40 years, the Sydney Opera House has played an integral role in the cultural life of NSW and Australia,” Mr Souris said. “It is one of our nation’s most famous landmarks and a drawcard for visitors to Sydney from overseas and around Australia alike. I congratulate the Sydney Opera House on this significant milestone.”

Award-winning musician John Butler said: “Sydney Opera House is such an iconic cultural venue. Every time I go there I am awestruck by its confident design, massive history and sublime setting. It’s the Uluru of music venues. I love that place. Happy birthday Sydney Opera House!”

To launch October’s 40th Anniversary celebrations, the Sydney Opera House is pleased to announce that it will premiere John Weiley’s long-lost 1968 film about the birth of Danish architect Jørn Utzon’s masterpiece, The Dream of Perfection, which has never been seen in this country. Recently restored with the help of Opera House donors Catriona and Simon Mordant AM and Suzy and Phillip Wolanski AM, on behalf of the Wolanski Foundation, The Dream of Perfection will have its historic first screening in the Concert Hall on17 October, ahead of its broadcast on ABC Television on 20 October.

Bookending the 40th Anniversary celebrations, a major celebration of Australian contemporary music will take place on the Forecourt in December.

Other highlights of the Anniversary program include:

  • The Australian World Orchestra performing works by Stravinsky and Mahler under the baton of internationally acclaimed conductor Zubin Mehta. Forty years after expatriate Australian maestro Charles Mackerras conducted the Sydney Opera House’s October 1973 opening concert, his conductor nephew Alexander Briger will bring a new generation of Australians home to perform under the shells on 3 October.
  • Cake & Song and Open Door: The Opera House will celebrate its birthday with an appropriately sized cake and appropriately loud song on 20 October from 10am. This event will be open to the public, and will be accompanied by an Open Door, in partnership with the City of Sydney, so that people can wander the main stages at the heart of the Opera House, the Concert Hall and the Joan Sutherland Theatre (between 9am and 1pm).
  • ACO Virtual: Opera House resident company the Australian Chamber Orchestra takes you to its heart in ACO Virtual, a cutting-edge audio-visual installation that puts you in the middle of the orchestra. Immerse yourself in performances of music by Bach, Grieg, Smalley and Piazzolla or take charge of the band via a controller inside the installation, as part of this free event, which runs from21 October.
  • Danish Design at the House: The Western Foyer of the Opera House will be transformed into a series of installations inspired by the sparse, elegant modernism of Danish design.  Curated by Terroir in collaboration with Karen Kjaergaard, the exhibition will run from 25 October – 11 November.
  • The Architecture and Design Symposium: Curated by UTS Head of Architecture Anthony Burke, this unique one-day event will bring together prominent Danish and Australian architects and designers on 25 October to discuss the role of design in shaping our collective cultural imagination. The City of Sydney is a partner for this event.
  • David Moore Photographic Exhibition: This stunning exhibition will feature one of Australia’s most renowned photojournalists’ poetic images of the Opera House’s creation. At Customs House, 20-27 October.
  • The Shoot: To celebrate the Opera House’s role in nurturing young talent, Principal Partner Samsung and Opera House alumnus Baz Luhrmann have joined forces to create ‘The Shoot’, a national competition offering young Australians the chance to create a short film, which will premiere at Sydney Opera House on 24 October as part of the 40th celebrations. (Luhrmann and Catherine Martin’s 1990 production of La Bohème was such a milestone in the life of both the Opera House and its creators that Luhrmann and Martin celebrated their marriage on the Joan Sutherland Theatre stage).
  • The Scottish Ten: An ambitious, five-year collaboration between the Scottish Government, The Glasgow School of Art and not-for-profit digital heritage organisation CyArk, the Scottish Ten project will deliver an innovative and exact 3D rendering of the Opera House as part of the Anniversary celebrations. The project will provide the Opera House with comprehensive building-management and conservation data together with a vital resource to assist its ambitions as a leader in education and learning and to help improve the experience of the Opera House’s 8.2 million annual visitors.
  • A special one-hour 40th Anniversary tour will give visitors and locals alike a chance to explore the history of one of the world’s most celebrated buildings in new depth.
  • Throughout October, the Opera House’s famous chefs will celebrate with a series of Anniversary Signature Dishes, collated within a unique Signature Recipe Book, available as a special gift with a Signature Dish.

Keep up to date with the calendar of events by visiting the 40th anniversary website:

You can also keep up to date with Sydney Opera House onFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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