Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sydney Opera House Open Day - Sunday 25 October 2009

Sydney Opera House is throwing open its doors and inviting the people of New South Wales to see what happens behind the scenes at a free Open Day on Sunday 25 October 2009.

Between 10am and 4pm free self-guided tours of the building will let visitors follow in the footsteps of the famous, exploring backstage areas which are usually off limits to members of the public.  Three tours, each covering different areas of the building, will be available.

Visitors can watch performers in rehearsal, peek into dressing rooms, see how stage sets are constructed, discover how sound and lighting are used to create dramatic effect, and learn about the types of activities people can see and do at the House.

NSW Premier Nathan Rees will attend Open Day at 10am to sign Kids Adventure Passports - an initiative of the Premier's office to engage more kids in the arts and encourage them to discover galleries, museums and art institutions.

In association with Open Day partners NAB, the Gondwana National Indigenous Children's Choir and Sydney Children's Choir will give a performance on the Forecourt at 11am, and there will be a food and wine fair, live music, roving entertainers and prize giveaways throughout the day in what promises to be a fun day for the whole family.

A key goal of Open Day is to ensure all communities have access to the Sydney Opera House experience, whoever and wherever they are said Sydney Opera House CEO Richard Evans, "Sydney Opera House is a place for everyone.  It's our aim to ensure that the broadest possible audience has access to the wide range of activities and experiences we offer from classical music to comedy, and everything in-between.

Open Day puts the spotlight on what happens behind the scenes at the House, and will let people find out why 7.5 million people visit us every year."

Jaap Jonkman, nabbusiness general manager NSW/ACT added, "A vibrant arts sector is a reflection of a healthy and creative society. Sydney Opera House is at the centre of Australian creativity, both as a symbol and as a performing arts centre. We're delighted to be able to help give the people of Sydney the opportunity to see behind the iconic sails of Sydney Opera House at its biggest ever Open Day."

Visitors will also be able to see, for the first time, an outdoor exhibition of large scale images by Australia's only Magnum photographer Trent Parke.  Commissioned by Sydney Opera House, Parke spent four weeks across 12 months as an artist in residence shooting behind the scenes, capturing a side of the House rarely seen.

Members of the public are encouraged to sign-up at to receive express entry on the day, and a range of special offers for onsite cafes, restaurants and shops.

The use of public transport is recommended.  Family groups can take advantage of the low cost Family Funday Sunday travel ticket which offers unlimited travel on buses, trains and ferries.   For up-to-date public transport information call 131 500 or visit

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