It’s a new era of sound at Sydney’s iconic Opera House as the concert hall reopens following an extensive improvement of its acoustics and accessibility.
Aussie firm ARM Architecture and engineer firm ARUP led the revamp of the concert hall, which closed for renovations in February 2020 and is the largest performance space in the multi-venue building. Work focused primarily on fixing poor acoustics in the landmark building, long criticised by musicians and critics alike since its opening in 1973.
As part of the AUD $150m project, 18 acoustic panels and sound diffusers have been installed in the concert hall. Its stage has also been lowered 40 cm with new stage risers and a flying system installed to improve the machinery behind the space.
‘You can feel the clarity and warmth now in both amplified and symphonic mode,’ Sydney Opera House’s CEO Louise Herron said. ‘The range of sound is much clearer now.’
The acoustics aren’t the only things to get an upgrade: new lifts and passageways improve accessibility.
The Sydney Opera House will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year. The concert hall was the final phase of a 10-year-long, $300m renewal of the building by Jørn Utzon.