Sydney Opera House to Undergo Major Renovation to Fix Poor Acoustics

By Inigo Monzon | Aug 11, 2016 10:12 AM EDT

The iconic Sydney Opera House in Australia is about to undergo a major renovation. One of the main focuses of the project will be to upgrade the design of the Concert Hall to improve the quality of its acoustics.

The project will begin in 2019 and is expected to last for about 18 months. According to The New York Times, the upcoming renovation will be the largest construction project on the landmark ever since it was opened to the public in 1973.

Although the signature sail-like roof structure of the facility will remain the same, major work will be carried out in the Concert Hall, which is the  largest performance space of the Sydney Opera House. Specifically, the acoustic reflectors, which look like glass disks hanging above the stage, will be removed and replaced with a concert ceiling, The Guardian reported.

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The decision to remove the acoustic reflectors was made due to the complaints made by musicians who had the opportunity to perform at the Sydney Opera House. Edo de Waart, the former conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, once said that these reflectors actually do not help in improving the acoustics of the facility. Instead, these only dull the sound from the instruments.

Aside from the Concert Hall, the renovation project will also include improvements in other areas of the Sydney Opera House. Some of these include the addition of wheelchair-accessible seats and the construction of the new lounge. The facility's legal office and call center will also be turned into a creative learning area for workshops, lectures and performances.

The entire cost of the project, which is about $155 million, will be shouldered by the Australian Government.

"The Sydney Opera House is the symbol of modern Australia," Troy Grant, the New South Wales Minister for the Arts said in a statement according to The New York Times. "It is our responsibility as custodians of this extraordinary place to maintain and renew it for all Australians."

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