Sydney – Tuesday 26 September, 2023. To mark the Sydney Opera House’s 50th year, a landmark new publication that brings together five decades of stories by artists who share an enduring connection with this remarkable building goes on sale across Australia today.
The new book, Transcendence: 50 Years of Unforgettable Moments at the Sydney Opera House, celebrates the evolution of a cultural masterpiece through the eyes of some of those who have made it sing.
Richly illustrated and beautifully produced, the new hardback features essays by 50 individuals, many of them household names, reflecting on their most memorable and personal Opera House moments across five decades of activity.
“What the artists’ stories make clear is that there’s always been something magical about the Opera House, inside and out. The spirit soars in its presence. Through this book, we are not only celebrating half a century of unforgettable moments but also inviting everyone to be part of the next chapter.”Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM
Nick Cave writes about performer and audience coming together to “tug at the hem of the infinite to collude with the divine”. Simone Young tells of being struck by the power of Leonard Bernstein in the Concert Hall. Baz Luhrmann recalls a space that witnessed both a game-changing opera and his wedding vows. Ngaiire hears an echo of Crowded House from the Forecourt stage. Jimmy Barnes watches Billy Connolly and feels himself transported to the streets of Glasgow. Sylvie Guillem finds herself in the presence of “true beauty”.
Other contributors include Briggs, Carlotta, Paul Kelly, Deborah Mailman, Tim Minchin, Graeme Murphy, Rhoda Roberts, Sarah Blasko, Clementine Ford, Barrie Kosky, Kitty Flanagan, Louis Nowra, and many more.
The book forms part of the Opera House’s 50th anniversary celebrations which will culminate in a month-long festival of events and performances in October 2023. Published by Thames & Hudson Australia, and edited by award-winning journalist and author Ashleigh Wilson, these stories reveal as much about the Opera House has they do about the city itself. The Opera House acknowledges Dr Eileen Ong for her generous support of this project.
Transcendence: 50 years of Unforgettable Moments at the Sydney Opera House goes on sale from 26 September, price $59.99. It will be available online, in your local bookstore and through the Sydney Opera House Shop.