Sydney Opera House Marks Beginning Of 50th Anniversary With Major Projection Show & Documentary

A major projection show and a 3-part television documentary launched the year-long celebration for the Sydney Opera House’s 50th anniversary, which is on Friday the 20th October 2023.

The Sydney Opera House celebrated it’s 49th anniversary on Thursday the 20th October 2022.

The major projection show, called Light Years, was created by Sam Doust and Art Processors & tells the story of the Sydney Opera House with the prologue designed by Jake Duczynski, Jason Poley & Studio Gilay.

The projection show, which is on the Sydney Opera House’s western sails, began on Wednesday October 19 2022 at 7:15pm and concludes on Monday October 31 2022, running on a 20 minute loop between sunset (7:30pm for all but the premiere night & the House’s birthday) and 11pm. However, on Monday the 24th October 2022, Light Years will run until 8pm, at which point, the annual Diwali Spectacular lighting will shine on the western sails for the rest of the night.

Both shows are best viewed from the Overseas Passenger Terminal/Hickson Road Reserve. The Sydney Opera House says young people under the age of 15 must be accompanied at all times for Light Years. However, they also say Light Years is suitable for all ages.

The soundtrack, which can be listened live here (particularly if you are watching it in person), is designed by Andrew Stevenson and composed by Hylton Mowday. The latter being the composer of the infamous Advance Australia Fair/Waltzing Matilda remix from the Sydney New Year’s Eve 2004: Reflections On Australiana Midnight Fireworks.

There are quick response codes around Circular Quay so you can access the soundtrack via your smartphone. The soundtrack’s website uses new audio-visual synchronisation technology so there is no delay when listening to Sydney Spectacular event soundtracks in person via the Internet! This technology debuted at Vivid Sydney 2022.

You can watch Light Years live by signing up or logging into the Sydney Opera House’s Stream platform here but you can also watch the 20 October (49th birthday) 7:30pm live broadcast here and on Sydney Opera House’s social media platforms on demand (Duration: 53 minutes – contains the 7:40pm & 8pm shows):

On Sunday October 23rd 2022 at 7:30pm, a 3-part documentary premieres on Australian Broadcasting Corporation Television & iView called Inside The Sydney Opera House. For the first time ever you can see the behind-the-scenes operation of the Sydney Opera House, including the venue’s management of the 3 flagship Sydney Spectaculars Sydney New Year’s Eve, Vivid Sydney & Australia Day In Sydney.

It is narrated by Marta Düsseldorp and showcases the venue’s operation over the past year. It is the 3rd major documentary on the Sydney Spectaculars, following 2008’s Revealed: New Year’s Eve (which did briefly show what happens at the Sydney Opera House) and Sydney Harbour Force, which debuted earlier this year on Discovery Channel. Each new episode of Inside The Sydney Opera House will air weekly.

The Opera House is a gift, an immense source of pride to our community, and one of the busiest performing arts centres in the world. Now, after 50 years of creativity and a decade of renewal, we’re throwing the doors open and inviting everyone to be part of a year-long festival celebrating the building, its history and all forms of contemporary culture. I hope people everywhere come to experience what’s on offer and reflect on the Opera House’s past, present and future

Louise Herron AM – Sydney Opera House Chief Executive Officer

The Sydney Opera House’s 50th Anniversary is supported by the New South Wales’s Blockbuster Funding initiative.

The Opera House is a global beacon of creativity. I’m thrilled the NSW Government is supporting the 50th anniversary celebrations through a world-class program for the entire community. It’s a wonderful opportunity to showcase the Opera House’s immense contribution to the cultural fabric of our nation, and to attract more people from across NSW and around the world to experience this extraordinary building and all it has to offer

Ben FranklinMinister for the Arts & Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council

How will the Sydney Opera House celebrate it’s precise 50th anniversary in just under a year’s time? We’ll have to wait and see!