Inside the Renewed Joan Sutherland Theatre | The curtain rises on $71 million-dollar upgrade

[ Music ]>>You know that sense when you
walk into a space and you think, “I can’t see what’s different, but it just feels
so much better. That’s exactly what
we aim to create in the Joan Sutherland Theatre. [ Music ]>>Everything was kept intact
but improved without a sense of having changed anything.>>To have a refurbishment
that actually focuses on what is going on
at the back of house; all the technical
side of things. All the machinery. The lighting. The acoustical changes that
have been taking place, that’s just an amazing thing. [ Music ]>>What we have replaced was
all original equipment that came out in the late 60s
and early 70s when the opera house
was first built, and now we have state-of-the-art
machinery and control equipment.>>Over the years,
it became evident that the essential staging
equipment and part equipment in the opera house was
getting past its use by day.>>For many years now we’ve
not been able to put people on the lift as it
was travelling. The renovation means that
we can now put people back onto that lift.>>We can queue and trigger
amazing sequences off the rear lift. [ Music ]>>The other big thing
that has happened from the acoustic
perspective is a new quality of sound in the theatre.>>If you’re standing right in
front of the pit and you listen to the orchestra, you
get this great, full, natural blooming sound. This enhancement process
is actually taking them through the hallow hall.>>Through the lowering of
the floor and what’s happened to the ceiling, the orchestra
will actually be able to see the conductors when I’m
following a dancer who’s much slower than the dancer who
danced the previous night, I really need the orchestra
to be right there with me. That, in itself doesn’t
sound like much, but it’ll be massive for us.>>Generally, when you think of
refurbishments, you would think of external things that
everybody’s going to notice. One of the great
and special things about this refurbishment
is that what it’s going to actually count for is the
artists and all the people in the back of the house.>>Yeah, this is a
massive undertaking. It took a thousand people
to actually do the work, and many, many more to plan it. It was finished on
time and on budget, and we are absolutely
thrilled with the results. There are two little jewels
of works which haven’t yet been completed, and they
are, first of all, a passageway that lays flat from the
southern foyers all the way through to the northern foyers
of the Joan Sutherland Theatre, where of course there
are magnificent views. And there’s a lift that’s
going to connect all of those floors —
the four floors — all of those northern
foyers, so that people with mobility issues are able
to see for the first time, every single level of the
northern foyer [music]. We have prepared the
Joan Sutherland Theatre for the next 50 years
to work just as hard, as well as meet the qualities
of this magnificent building. [ Music ]

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