Louise Herron, Lyndon Terracini, and David McAllister share their thoughts on the SOH Theatre as renovation work begins.

In 2015, the Sydney Opera House announced that it was self-funding a $45 million renewal project in the Joan Sutherland Theatre, overhauling theatre machinery over 40 years old to improve the venue’s reliability, functionality, and safety. The NSW Government also announced it was investing a further $26 million into additional works to improve the theatre’s accessibility, acoustics, and functionality. With the Theatre now officially closed for upgrades, Opera House CEO Louise Herron, Opera Australia Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini, and The Australian Ballet Artistic Director David McAllister shared their fondest memories of the venue and their hopes for the future.

“The Joan Sutherland Theatre is one of the world’s hardest-working theatres, with 330 performances a year. But its 50-year-old ‘engine’ needs to be replaced to create a safer, more reliable and flexible theatre”, Herron explained. “We are also taking this once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve the venue’s acoustics, accessibility and functionality”.

David McAllister likewise considers the venue one of the most hardworking theatres in the world. “The Australian Ballet did their first season, in the very first year...