The first performance at Sydney Opera House


The first performance at the Opera House occurred during its construction, when singer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson performed for the workers in November 1960. After his performance Robeson signed the gloves of the many workers who lined up to meet him, and he was presented with a hard hat inscribed with his name.

Since that time, the Opera House has been the site of many thousands of performances. In 2008, the concert hall was even transformed into a forest by French artist Pierre Huyghe, for the Biennale.

What memorable Opera House performances have you experienced? We’d love you to comment with some of your own Opera House memories.

Bennelong Point

The area of Sydney with the highest density of photos being taken per square metre must be Bennelong Point. All types of people with all types of cameras, taking photos of their friends and family, or asking the girl at the ice cream cart to take their photo with the Bridge in the background. Some flash peace signs, others pose for serious portraits, and a few try out gymnastic postures on the railing.

Photos on the railing

Photos on the railing

No matter the day of the week, the atmosphere around the Opera House is one of a perpetual holiday. People carry cameras, they wear matching souvenir hats and the kinds of loose, practical travelling clothes that immediately identify them as tourists. They pose for the obligatory Sydney photo with the Harbour Bridge in the background, and it’s hard not to feel proud to live in such a photogenic city.

Bennelong Point has been synonymous with the Opera House since it opened in 1973, after planning and construction work that lasted two decades. To someone who has never seen Bennelong Point otherwise, it can be hard to imagine its former lives as a tram depot, or a fort. Continue reading →