The Opera’s general manager, Louise Herron, said the project had improved acoustics for performers and audiences in orchestral and amplified mode, improved access for people with reduced mobility and provided a more comfortable working environment. flexible and safer for staff behind the scenes.
“You can now feel the clarity and warmth in amplified and symphonic mode; the range of sounds is much clearer now,” Herron said.
“I was blown away when I first heard it.”
A new elevator and walkway improve accessibility, allowing wheelchair users and people with reduced mobility to access all levels of the hall independently.
The opening concert, a performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, the Resurrection Symphony,
will take place next Wednesday under the direction of Simone Young of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Didgeridoo player William Barton will perform his composition Of the earth, accompanied by performers with 60 pairs of clapsticks made from brushbox wood salvaged from the concert hall‘s old and new stages.
Given that half of the Opera’s revenue comes from international tourists, Herron hopes the reopening will be a boon for the house, whose revenue has been reduced by 73% since the COVID pandemic.
“This concert hall is now ready for the next generation and the next 50 years,” she said.
Since the venue closed for renovations in February 2020, hundreds of construction workers, acousticians and architectural and heritage experts have been busy delivering the concert hall’s biggest upgrade since it opened. nearly 50 years ago, with all possible care and attention to protect and respect the heritage of this treasured performance space.
The concert hall is one of the largest – with 2,600 seats – and the longest – at 45 meters – performance halls in the world. It reaches 25 meters from the stage to the crown above. Perfecting the sound quality for acoustic and amplified performance in this space was a highly technical challenge for acousticians.
During Thursday’s visit, NSW Arts Minister Ben Franklin said: “The Concert Hall is the beating heart of the Opera House.
“The renovation is a technical triumph, it will make it one of the greatest concert halls in the world.”
- Builders installed 174 tons of new structural steel (equivalent to more than 100 cars) and 70 tons of new reinforcing steel.
- A quarter of the new structural steel has been coated in bright pink paint to distinguish it from the main steel supporting the building.
- The new stage lifts have a total weight of 95 tons (550 kilograms per square meter).
- During construction, builders erected nearly 45 tons of birdcage scaffolding in the auditorium to reach the ceiling.
- More than 9,000 square meters (equivalent to approximately 14 tennis courts) of protection have been installed in the concert hall and its surroundings to safeguard the heritage finishes.
- Over 91% of demolition waste was recycled, well above the 80% target.
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