The government of New South Wales has decided to sink a fortune into ‘renewing’ the concert hall inside Sydney Opera House.
The concert hall has never been great from the day it opened, and never will. London has squandered hundreds of millions on two bad halls, the Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican, achieving no more than marginal acoustic improvements.
Sydney should learn from these mistakes.
Statement from Sydney Symphony Orchestra Managing Director, Rory Jeffes:
The Sydney Symphony Orchestra applauds the New South Wales Government on its decision to renew the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall
The Sydney Symphony Orchestra welcomes today’s announcement by the NSW Government to invest $202 million towards the renewal of the Sydney Opera House and specifically its largest theatre, the Concert Hall.
Since the Sydney Opera House opened in 1973, the SSO has been the building’s resident orchestra performing more than 200 concerts each year in the concert hall to over 200,000 people.
We applaud the vision demonstrated by the NSW Government through this announcement in wishing to make Sydney a major centre for the Arts in the Asia-Pacific region. Having toured across China and Asia multiple times and witnessed the calibre of the performing arts venues across the Asia-Pacific, the SSO knows what a vital piece of work this is for NSW in order for our state to remain culturally competitive.
Not only will the revitalisation of the Concert Hall have a major impact on the arts community in NSW and Australia, but it will have positive repercussions for the economy of NSW, leading to a growth in tourism and audience engagement. Such a critical piece of infrastructure development deserves cross-party support and we trust that regardless of the outcome of the March NSW state election, this initiative will indeed come to fruition.
When former SSO chief conductor Eugene Goossens spoke in the 1940s of the need for Sydney to have a world-class concert hall, he dreamed of the Sydney Opera House. He wished to see a venue created for music, and for the people, an ambition which included a concert hall with perfect acoustics for his beloved Sydney Symphony Orchestra. It is my hope that Mr Goossens’ vision will now be achieved through today’s announcement.