On this day, 20 October 1973, Queen Elizabeth II formally opened the Sydney Opera House. The opening was celebrated with fireworks and a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
The following day was the first public performance, with a programme performed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Charles Mackerras and with accompanying singer Birgit Nilsson.
The Opera House was designed by Danish architect Joern Utzon in 1955, and is now one of the most famous and recognisable performing arts venues in the world.
See more pictures of the opening in our Manuscripts catalogue, learn more about the history of the Opera House from our catalogue, and see what the public opinion of the Opera House at the time was through Trove’s digitised newspapers.
Image: ‘City decorations for opening of Opera House’, Government Printing Office Collection, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales. Digital order no. d2_50078.