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Press releases

20 December 2017

First look behind the scenes as renewed JST prepares for historic NYE reopening

The Sydney Opera House today provided a glimpse of the changes that audiences will see when the world-famous Joan Sutherland Theatre re-opens on New Year’s Eve, after seven months of renewal works.

The Joan Sutherland Theatre reopens on New Year’s Eve with Opera Australia’s The Merry Widow.The $71 million-dollar renewal works will transform the experience of artists, audiences and staff

NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin MLC, Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron and Opera House Resident Company, Opera Australia attended the first behind-the-scenes tour since the venue closed in May this year.

Laing O’Rourke’s Region Director Mark Dimmock, who joined the tour this morning, said Laing O’Rourke was extremely proud to have delivered the first major project of the Opera House’s renewal.

“We have collaborated with the Opera House and its design teams to deliver the smartest, most efficient and sensitive solutions for this important project,” Mark said.

“We are honoured to work on this landmark building and look forward to celebrating the first performance in the new Jane Sutherland Theatre on New Year’s Eve.”

Click here to read the media release issued by the Sydney Opera House.

What’s changed inside the Joan Sutherland Theatre?

The $71 million-dollar renewal works will transform the experience of artists, audiences and staff in the JST, including:

  • New theatre flying system that is quieter, safer and more reliable;
  • Improved grid deck providing a more flexible system of hoists and a clearer, more open work area;
  • Partial replacement of the auditorium lighting and a new sound console and follow spot room;
  • Upgraded orchestra pit and the installation of a state-of-the-art acoustic enhancement system to improve playing conditions for musicians and better distribute orchestral sound around the JST; and
  • Six additional female toilets to better service audience members.

Work on a number of accessibility upgrades will continue after the Theatre reopens including a new passageway and lift to enable wheelchair access to the Northern Foyer. These works are due for completion in mid-2018. 

Download more interesting facts about the Joan Sutherland Theatre here.

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