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Ruby Annivesary: Jørn Utzon's Sydney Opera House Turns 40 in Style

By James Inverne on Oct 30, 2013 03:21 AM EDT

Many of us approach the big 4-0 with apprehension, but the milestone can be eased with a really big birthday bash. By that measure, the Sydney Opera House, if it has feelings, should be grinning from sail to sail at the celebrations for this--its 40th birthday week.

By some measure the world's most famous opera house, known around the globe for its much filmed and photographed distinctive design, is holding an entire season of commemorative events.

This time, though, the Crown Prince Couple of Denmark (Frederik and Mary) are the Sydney's patrons.

The flagship anniversary concert was on October 27, in the forecourt of the house, echoing the concert which opened it in October 1973 with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. But that was just scheduled as the concert's close in an evening that included appearances from Australia's brightest and best: Baz Luhrmann, John Butler, Megan Washington and Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducting.

Other initiatives include a special range in the gift shop which even includes glasses designed by Jørn Utzon, the building's architect, and a documentary that is a collaboration between the opera house and ABC Innovation. There's also a fun clutch of video tributes on the opera house's mirco-site, of which the highlight is Dame Edna Everage claiming to have "saved" the Sydney Opera House!

Sydney Opera House. 40 years young...

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TagsJørn Utzon, Sydney Opera House, Queen Elizabeth, Prince of Denmark, Beethoven, Baz Luhrmann, John Butler, Megan Washington, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Dame Edna Everage