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The Opera House announces Danish Royals as Patrons of 40th Anniversary celebrations

June 22, 2013 Attraction No Comments Email Email

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade & Investment, Andrew Stoner, today announced that Denmark’s Crown Prince Couple, HRH Crown Prince Frederik and HRH Crown Princess Mary, are to visit Sydney as the Patrons of the Opera House’s 40th Anniversary program.

The Crown Prince Couple will help celebrate this important milestone in the history of Australia’s World Heritage-listed masterpiece in October this year.

“The enduring connections between Australia and Denmark were first forged when a young Jørn Utzon won the original design competition for Sydney’s Opera House in 1957. It is exciting to be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of one of the greatest buildings of the twentieth century in the presence of Denmark’s Crown Prince Couple,” Mr Stoner said.

“The Opera House is a symbol of NSW and Australia’s premier performing arts centre. We are committed to building on the legacy of Utzon’s genius and look forward to a unique and exciting celebration of a much-loved landmark that is also Sydney’s cultural heart.”

The NSW Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Arts, George Souris said: “The Sydney Opera House’s 40th anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate its central role in the NSW community and economy and its importance to Australia as a World Heritage monument. Since opening in 1973 the Opera House has entertained audiences in excess of 65 million. It is also the most famous Australian-Danish collaboration, which makes it particularly appropriate that Denmark’s Crown Prince Couple will be visiting Sydney in October as patrons of the Opera House’s 40th celebrations.”

Sydney Opera House Chairman, Kim Williams AM, commented: “The Opera House’s 40th Anniversary represents a rare opportunity to reach back into our history in order to launch ourselves forward,” Mr Williams said.

“The Anniversary marks the beginning of a decade of renewal to safeguard Australia’s most celebrated building and the nation’s most valuable piece of cultural and tourism infrastructure. The $13.7 million recently announced by the NSW Government for 2014/15 will fund a master-planning process that will define and scope the projects needed to preserve and enhance the Opera House for future generations of artists, audiences and visitors as a vital State, National and World Heritage asset.”

Sydney Opera House CEO, Louise Herron AM, said: “The 40th Anniversary, which commences on the Opera House’s actual birthday, Sunday October 20, and continues through to October 28, is an opportunity to highlight and strengthen the central role the Opera House plays in Australian life and identity.

“For 40 years, the Opera House has embodied beauty, inspiration and the liberating power of art and ideas. The Anniversary will further underline the Opera House’s contribution to the Australia’s economy, community, culture and identity.”

Some of the major events announced today include:

  • Recreating the concert that officially opened the Opera House in 1973 in a ticketed commemorative event on the Forecourt on October 27. The event will culminate, as it did in 1973, with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 performed by the Sydney Symphony which concludes with the magnificent Ode to Joy. The performance will be conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya and feature soloists from Opera Australia with the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.
  • A free ‘Open Door’ on 20 October to mark the day on which the Opera House was officially opened in 1973, which will open the Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre to visitors.
  • A special free exhibition devoted to Danish design’s contemporary legacy titled Danish Rooms @ the Opera House to be held in the Western Foyers from 25 October to 11 November.

Further aspects of the 40th anniversary program will be released in the coming months. To stay up-to-date with the Opera House’s 40th anniversary announcements, please

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