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From todays SMH:

The Opera House has confirmed there is no start date for the proposed $350 million-plus renovations of the Opera Theatre because funding for the ambitious project has not been secured.

That could mean Joern Utzon's vision is put on hold once again.

The two major users of the venue, the Australian Ballet and Opera Australia, this week confirmed they had locked in their seasons at the Opera House for the next three years.

They have done so based on the assumption that work will not have begun by then.

The project, that would restore the Opera Theatre to Utzon's original specifications, involves closing the theatre for an overhaul of the acoustics, sightlines and stage.

The NSW Government originally committed about $70 million towards a smaller plan to renovate the exterior of the building and the Opera Theatre's antiquated orchestra pit. But it said no to footing the $300 million-plus bill for the bigger renovations.

In February last year there were signs that NSW Treasury was considering ways to help finance the massive refurbishment.

The revised plan was announced late in 2003 by the chief executive of the Opera House, Norman Gillespie.
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It was unofficially costed at more than $300 million, and the Opera House's architect, Joern Utzon, was commissioned to create an expanded blueprint for the overhaul which is due to be released in the middle of this year.

The executive director of the Australian Ballet, Richard Evans, said the company was still waiting for "firm advice" on when the renovations would begin, and had in the meantime locked in its Sydney seasons at the Opera Theatre.

He said that there had been discussions with the Opera House about the matter, and it had also been raised in a meeting with Mr Gillespie this week.

In case the work got the go-ahead sooner than expected, he was confident that the Opera House Trust would be able to offer alternative venues.

The trust has been in talks with the Lyric Theatre at the Star City Casino in Darling Harbour and the Capitol Theatre in Haymarket on behalf of the ballet.

Opera Australia said it was adopting the same cautionary strategies as the Australian Ballet.

"We're planning on being in the Opera Theatre for 2006 and 2007, and we're also planning [to be there] in 2008, with contingency plans for other theatres," a spokeswoman said.

Mr Utzon was invited by Mr Carr to oversee the major upgrade of the Opera House in 1998.

Mr Carr announced at the time that the NSW bid for federation funding to help restore the interiors had been unsuccessful, but the work would proceed.

Mr Utzon was forced out of the project before work had begun on the building's final stage.
 

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Why do governments keep announcing progressive schemes such as this, the Parramatta to Chatswood railway, the expansion of the MCA, the construction of Green Square, etc, etc, etc, then let them die in the bum from inaction. Always lack of funds is cited as the reason for not going ahead. Is this supposed to be clever politics? And it is not just the Carr government - they all seem to do it. Perhaps they think it shows they are right in there building our future, but these constant collapses just confirm the opinion that they lot of them are incompetent, bullshitting dickheads capable only of feathering their own nest. Do I sound pissed off? You betcha.
 

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testuser said:
Why do governments keep announcing progressive schemes such as this, the Parramatta to Chatswood railway, the expansion of the MCA, the construction of Green Square, etc, etc, etc, then let them die in the bum from inaction. Always lack of funds is cited as the reason for not going ahead. Is this supposed to be clever politics? And it is not just the Carr government - they all seem to do it. Perhaps they think it shows they are right in there building our future, but these constant collapses just confirm the opinion that they lot of them are incompetent, bullshitting dickheads capable only of feathering their own nest. Do I sound pissed off? You betcha.
Well they DID build HALF of the Parramatta to Chatswood one... However it appears the tunnelling costs were underestimated... Whether this was on purpose or not we'll probably never know.

And yes, there are other governments guilty of these deceptions, but the Car(r) (mis-)Government is guilty of them in just about every possible area.
 

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cammo2004 said:
Well they DID build HALF of the Parramatta to Chatswood one... However it appears the tunnelling costs were underestimated... Whether this was on purpose or not we'll probably never know.

And yes, there are other governments guilty of these deceptions, but the Car(r) (mis-)Government is guilty of them in just about every possible area.
The problem these days is that ppl don't respect the promises they make. Hell the Opera house was WAY over budget thank god they had the balls to finish it.
If they had any balls they would finish the parra-chatswood link, but instead they want a 'surplus' even if that means its full of crap.
 

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The Sydney Opera House was "way over budget" because some-one, not the architect, not the engineers, plucked a figure out of the air - sounds like a politician - and, despite nobody actually knowing, the ridiculously low "budget" became the focus of much politically expedient name-calling, cheap-shotting, blame-laying and plain old bullshit. Utzon never gave them the figure so often claimed to be the "budget". It wouldn't have cost as much if the politicians hadn't forced him to start building before he had finished designing, forcing the later need to demolish part of the base.
Whatever the reasons for cancelling half the Pta-Chatswd railway, it is shortsighted as well as poorly planned and costed. I remember the Airport railway being cited as a reason for dropping the link as it was a flop therefore railways are not viable, yet they happily spend billions on roads!! Also, any halfwit can tell you the Airport railway is a flop because it is too bloody expensive and there are stacks of buses as a cheaper alternative. Some of us have been known to walk in rasher moments.
 

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testuser said:
Why do governments keep announcing progressive schemes such as this.....
I think in part (and it's a great part) is that it justifies their departmental positions to be getting involved in the planning process of such things. It looks great doing the corridor shuffle with papers in one hand and rushing to yet another morning tea meeting to "discuss" things. The whole shmozzle seems pretty ingrained in the cultures of the Public Works and Transport Departments, state and federal.
 

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Corporate
Media Release
Issued Monday, 2 May 2005

Work begins on new colonnade for Sydney Opera House

Work starts this week on the construction of a 45-metre loggia, or colonnade, along the Harbour Bridge side of Sydney Opera House.

This will be the first structural change to the exterior of the building since it opened in 1973.

The Loggia has been designed by Sydney Opera House’s architect, Jørn Utzon, to provide a spectacular setting for visitors, international tourists and theatre patrons and enliven the Western Broadwalk.

While developing his designs for the Loggia, Utzon said that “the present (theatre) foyer is not giving you the feeling of being on the Bennelong Peninsula. The Harbour Bridge is marvellous yet you can’t see it. With a colonnade on the western side for protection, this will open up the entry to the Drama Theatre, the Studio and the Playhouse”.

Nine openings will be created – six new large deep set windows and three glass doors. With the inclusion of these new openings, the foyers will be flooded with natural light and for the first time patrons will enjoy water and city views – one of Utzon’s key principles in his original design for Sydney Opera House.

Hoarding is being erected around the construction area. Explanatory signage will be posted on the hoarding and tourists and visitors can watch the work progress from the podium level above.

This is the second stage of the project, with the foundation piers secured to the bedrock below the Broadwalk completed last year.

Performances will not be affected by the work and all theatres will remain open.

When the project was announced last year, Jørn Utzon said: “I am really delighted that we have been asked…to work on a better situation at the western side of the Opera House…The colonnade in front of the western façade will attract people in daytime and will be a marvellous entrance for the spectators in the evening.”

This is one of a number of projects being designed by Jørn Utzon to improve facilities at Sydney Opera House, with funding from the NSW Government.

The work will be completed by the end of the year.

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Are there any visable reconstruction happening at the Opera House?
 

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my dad was the project manager for this gig (was) so i'll chat to him to see if he's got any updates
 

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700 MILLION DOLLAR RENOVATION RESCUE!!

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/wholl-pay-for-our-treasure/2006/01/20/1137734154337.html

By Anne Davies State Political Editor
January 21, 2006

THE Opera House is a step closer to a world heritage listing, but a greater challenge looms: finding an estimated $700 million to stop the deterioration of our most recognisable building.
The original architect, Joern Utzon, has submitted his own plans for the refurbishment and, far from pushing for a modest makeover, he proposes radical surgery to solve the Opera House's shortcomings.

The few officials who have seen his plans say they are "astounding" and "truly brilliant", an improvement on his master work, designed 50 years ago.

Utzon, who famously abandoned the Opera House project after falling out with the state government over funding, was approached after concerns were raised about the condition of the Opera Theatre orchestra pit. A 12-month technical study of the Opera House has also found that the air-conditioning system in the roof is old, that access is difficult for the less able and the exterior is suffering, with people regularly taking the white tiles for souvenirs.
It is understood Utzon wants to increase the volume of the Opera Theatre within the existing shell, improving not only the stage, the orchestra pit and seating capacity, but also the theatre's dubious acoustics and poor seating arrangement (a quarter of the seats suffer from obstructed views). At the same time, systems such as the airconditioning, electricals and lifts would be replaced.

But Utzon's plan involves excavating and cutting through a tie beam that holds the structure together, which will prove expensive, with estimates putting the cost about $700 million.

The State Government has allocated $70 million for the refurbishment of the interior, but it is clear this will fall way short of funds needed. The Opera House's board, Opera House Trust, has concluded the project will be impossible without Federal Government support. "We have got a terrible set of rapids to travel," said one

director, of the fund-raising task ahead. Those "rapids" include two governments of different persuasions, long-standing state rivalries and a climate of public sector parsimony.

Another director, who also did not wish to be named, said: "This is a tourist attraction, a symbol of the country. It's the epicentre, our St Mark's Square, our thrumming heartbeat. You can't just let it fall down. It would be a national scandal if it was allowed to fall into disrepair."

The Federal Government this week finally nominated the Opera House for world heritage listing. Meanwhile, governments throughout Asia are spending hundreds of millions of dollars, even billions, on building opera theatres. The chief of the Opera House, Norman Gillespie, said: "Miracles are produced every night in the Opera Theatre. It's intimate and audiences like that, but every night we disguise its shortcomings."

While he doubted rival halls in Asia would supplant the Opera House, he acknowledged modernising was imperative. "But anything you do to make the volume of the space bigger is extremely challenging."

The other challenge is avoiding a second embarrassing clash with Utzon over budgets.

The original building cost $102 million in 1967, and it took until 1975 to pay the bill, largely from lottery proceeds.

The trust will spend its next meeting on how to tackle the politics of winning federal support for the refurbishment. The project is so large that funding it via private sector donations is considered impossible. Other options include Opera House bonds, which would probably require concessional tax treatment, a second Opera House lottery and direct federal funding.

The Federal Communications and Arts Minister, Helen Coonan, who is from NSW, strongly supports a national approach, but the junior arts minister, Rod Kemp, and the Treasurer, Peter Costello, who are from Victoria, will be crucial stakeholders.

The Premier, Morris Iemma, who is more known for his love of football than opera, must also be persuaded to champion the project in Canberra.

The state Minister for the Arts, Bob Debus, said yesterday: "Any realisation of the Utzon concept is going to be challenging, expensive and carried out over the long term. We need maturity and a fair dollop of vision to ensure the Opera House functions as well inside as it appears outside. That is a challenge that will outlast any single government, as the history of the building well proves."


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WHO HAS BEEN STEALING THE OPERA HOUSE TILES AS SOUVENIRS?
:bash:

Blast those tourists. No wonder why they brought backpacks all the way near the Opera House shells! Adding tiles onto their bathroom floors?
 

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Wow, that's great that Utzon Snr. is submitting his own plans for the refurb!! :eek:kay:, rather than his son being the go-between.

...and so the Federal Government should get involved in allocating funds for this, considering the Opera House is a national icon and has earnt squillions of $$$s from tourism; internalionally, nationally, intra-state'ly and locally.

BTW MILUX, what was the source of the article? The SMH? The Australian?
 

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Really when it comes to the Sydney Opera house money should be no object, Victoria has spend billions on major civic projects over the past ten years I don't see why NSW can't do the same to refurbish the cities No 1 tourist icon.
 

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Yes, I agree with Grollo. I think the interior theatres at the SOH need major re-working. They don't work, they are not to the original design and are in a sad state. The only thing going for this building is the exterior.

If only we had the interior of the Victorian Arts Centre & Concert Hall within the SOH, Australia would have the most mangificent Arts Complex in the world.
 
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