World's 'greatest' opera house admits defeat on acoustics

The Sydney Opera House is the most recognisable venue in the art form.

But from the day it opened in 1973 the opera pit has been an acoustic disaster, the result of fudges and compromises during the 18-year construction. hat is now the opera space was originally intended as a concert hall. The dimensions are all wrong. Conductors, singers, musicians and audiences have protested – in vain. When it comes to spending money on better sound, Aussie politicians clam up like convent-raised oysters.

Now, artistic director Lyndon Terracini in his inaugural season has decided that enough is enough. In next year’s Australian premiere of Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt, the oversized orchestra of 83 will play in another room and be beamed electronically into the opera house.

”We can sit around and whinge and say, ‘oh we’ll have to cut it down’. But we’re supposed to be creative artists, we should think more creatively,” says Terracini.

Sydney Opera House Sydney Opera House, The Famous Icon Building in Australia

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  • Oh, right, I’d really want to hear EWK’s magnificent orchestra through loudspeakers. What utter stupidity. And he says it’s, “…thinking creatively.”

  • Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt appeared in a concert version at the 1997 at the Brisbane Biennial Festival of Music (now Brisbane Festival) . I can hardly imagine the sound being “beamed in”. Bon chance, Opera Australia!

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