An Opera House in every home

The Sydney Opera House – and its distinctive silhouette – has been a symbol of Sydney, and Australia, since it opened in 1973. Instantly recognisable, the Opera House has been replicated across a vast array of forms and materials, from kitsch souvenirs and homewares to artworks and designer accessories.

We hear from two curators about their collections and the memories they evoke. Jacqui Newling and her well-worn oven mitt, and Kim Tao whose snow globe collection numbers in the hundreds and includes several Opera House examples.

...I remember going to the Opera House a lot as a child and running up and down the stairs with my sister. That’s a really strong memory to me.

Kim Tao, Manager, Curatorial

Inspired by the title of Eric Thake's artwork An Opera House in every home, we've dedicated one room of our exhibition The People’s House: Sydney Opera House at 50 to celebrating people's connections to the Opera House and how they have brought its iconic image into their homes. Most of the items on display in this room have been generously loaned by Museums of History NSW staff and their friends, the Sydney Opera House Trust, the Powerhouse and the Art Gallery of NSW. Some are lucky finds from souvenir and second-hand shops.

Is there an Opera House in your home?

Published on 
Past exhibition

The People’s House: Sydney Opera House at 50

Celebrating five decades of extraordinary performances and unforgettable moments from the Sydney Opera House

Saturday 1 July
Harold Blair sings at a piano played by Marjorie Lawrence
First Nations

Paving the way ... Harold Blair: The first Aboriginal opera singer

A short documentary that offers a glimpse into the life of Harold Blair, a world-renowned tenor, family man and political campaigner who sought social justice and human rights for Australia’s First Nations people

Sydney Opera House

Highlighting Sydney Opera House records in the State Archives Collection