Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online


Sydney Opera House turns 40

The Sydney Opera House celebrates its 40th anniversary during October.

ASO features titles exploring both the controversy and adulation which surrounded the now-beloved architectural marvel.

Bruce Beresford made Monster or Miracle (1973) between directing the two Barry McKenzie movies. The film includes concerns about the feasibility of the Opera House’s performance spaces.

British Paints sponsored a documentary with the celebratory title The 8th Wonder of the World (1973) to coincide with the opening.

Listen to an excerpt from the first official concert in the Opera House Concert Hall, on 29 September 1973. This pre-dated the Queen’s official opening of the Opera House on 20 October.

You can also view documentaries about the Sydney Opera House on the NFSA Film Australia YouTube channel including episodes of Australian Colour Diary charting its construction in 1968 and 1972. Landmark (1972) includes footage of the Opera House site’s previous use as a tram depot.

See all ASO titles tagged Sydney Opera House.

Find out more about Opera House 40th anniversary events.

The 8th Wonder of the World sponsored film – 1973

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Beth Taylor

Beth is an artist who works across a broad range of mediums including photography, writing, documentary filmmaking, sculpture and painting. Her work has a common theme of finding beauty in the everyday. She has worked for the NFSA since 2008.