THE opera theatre at the Sydney Opera House will be renamed in honour of the late Dame Joan Sutherland, fulfilling an election promise by the NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell.
Mr O’Farrell met representatives of Opera Australia and the Opera House in the theatre a few days ago to announce the decision, which follows discussions with Dame Joan’s husband, the pianist and conductor Richard Bonynge, and the rest of her family.
Mr Bonynge, who is in Spain, said in a statement: ”The family are delighted and feel very honoured at the renaming in honour of Dame Joan. It is a splendid day.”
A naming ceremony for the opera theatre is expected to take place in the second half of this year, subject to the availability of Mr Bonynge and their son, Adam, to attend.
Despite the announcement, a long-proposed $1 billion renovation of the Opera House, with a particular focus on the opera theatre, remains stalled.
Mr O’Farrell said the NSW government had been briefed on a proposal and was ”working our way through the usual budget processes”.