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The Sydney Opera House Has Cancelled All Public Performances Until At Least June 17

Its restaurants, bars, retail outlets and public areas will remain open for now, though.
By Samantha Teague
March 17, 2020
By Samantha Teague
March 17, 2020

UPDATE: MARCH 21, 2020 — The Sydney Opera House has announced an extension to its cancellation of all public performances, with everything now shuttered until at least June 17. "We will re-evaluate this position based on health advice or updated government orders, as required," management announced in a statement. Ticket holders will receive a full refund.

SOH has also suspended guided tours during this period; however some of onsite bars and restaurants remain open.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.


The COVID-19 situation in Australia is changing every day, with the federal government first implementing a ban on non-essential events with more than 500 people and then mandating that everyone arriving from overseas self-isolate for 14 days.

On Monday, March 16, Melbourne's major art and cultural institutions — including Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks, Arts Centre Melbourne, the NGV and State Library of Victoria — temporarily closed their doors. Now, in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19, some of Sydney's big cultural venues are following suit.

The Sydney Opera House today, Tuesday, March 17, today announced that it has cancelled all public performances until at least March 29, when it will reevaluate the situation. While only the Joan Sutherland, Forecourt and Drama Theatre have capacities larger than 500, it's taking precautionary measures and cancelling performances in all venues, including the smaller Playhouse, Studio and Utzon Room.

The Sydney Opera House's largest venue, the Concert Hall, which has a capacity for more than 2000, is currently closed for a two-year renovation, slated to open in late-2021.

Sydney Opera House studio party by Tim Da-Rin

While it has suspended physical performances, Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM says they 're looking at ways to engage with the community on digital platforms. "In difficult times, people look to the arts for inspiration and strength," Herron said in a statement. "We will be focusing our programming efforts on how we can continue to inspire and uplift our audiences through digital and other means while our physical stages are not in use."

The Sydney Opera House's public areas, restaurants, bars and eateries and retail outlets will remain open for now, and tours will continue, too. Which means, you can still visit Peter Gilmore's stunning fine diner Bennelong and popular harbourside spot Opera Bar.

Elsewhere in Sydney, Opera Australia has cancelled its Handa Opera season, the Sydney Jewish Museum has closed until the end of March, and the AGNSW has suspended its public program of events. The citywide 22nd Biennale of Sydney, however, is going ahead for now.

The Sydney Opera House has suspended all public performances until March 29.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.

Top image: Hamilton Lund

Published on March 17, 2020 by Samantha Teague

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