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Anniversary concert marks Sydney Opera House’s 40th birthday

Anniversary concert marks Sydney Opera House’s 40th birthday
October 28, 2013

A star-studded gala event has taken place at the Sydney Opera House in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the iconic venue.

Sunday evening's bill included top Australian artists Sarah Blasko, John Butler and Megan Washington while the Sydney Symphony Orchestra also performed the work that opened the Opera House in 1973 - Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

Around 5,000 people were in the audience for the concert on the Opera House forecourt, which also featured members of the Australian Ballet.

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark were the guests of honour, along with the family of Danish architect Jorn Utzon, who was responsible for designing the building.

Princess Mary told the crowd "at its birth, many people considered the Opera House somewhat of, in fairytale terms, an ugly duckling.

"(But) the Opera House has matured into a graceful, urban sculpture - a beautiful swan. It has found its place in the hearts and minds of both Australians and Danes. It has become a symbol of national pride for both our countries.

"Thousands of artists, outstanding artists from all corners of the globe have performed here and over the past four decades, millions of visitors have experienced what lies within. Performances that can move us to tears, make us laugh and impress us.

"It is our hope that the magnificent beauty and creativity of the Opera House will continue to inspire new generations and the time they live in."

The concert, which ended with a fireworks display, was the culmination of a week of events to commemorate the 40th anniversary.

Construction began on the The Opera House in 1959, and it was officially opened on 20th October 1973.

Image courtesy of Hamilton Lund.



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