The Sydney Opera House has opened the doors of its redesigned function and events centre, marking the completion of the next major project in its $273 million program of Renewal works.
The Yallamundi Rooms are the first new venue created inside the Opera House since the refurbishment of the Utzon Room in 2004. The name Yallamundi means “storyteller” in the local Sydney Indigenous language. It honours the long history of gathering and storytelling by the original custodians of Bennelong Point, the Gadigal.
The first stage of the project involved removing the longstanding events marquee from the Northern Broadwalk, restoring the building’s original façade and ensuring the World Heritage-listed masterpiece can be enjoyed as architect Jørn Utzon intended.
By transforming office space into a multi-purpose events venue, more of the Opera House has been made available for public use and more open space created on the Northern Broadwalk.
“The Opera House stands on Bennelong Point, known as Tubowgule to the original custodians of this land, the Gadigal,” said Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron. “For thousands of years, this has been a place to gather, feast, sing, dance and share stories. The Yallamundi Rooms will continue this storytelling legacy.”
The Yallamundi Rooms is the latest project to be delivered as part of the Opera House’s Renewal program, which includes the renewal of the Concert Hall due to begin in February 2020.
“The opening of the Yallamundi Rooms marks an important milestone in the Opera House’s decade of renewal,” said NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin.
“When people gather in this spectacular new space they will be able to reflect on the proud traditions of the Gadigal people while standing in Australia’s most revered institution for storytelling.”
With sweeping views of Sydney Harbour, the flexible space has capacity for up to 400 people standing or 180 seated, with several room configurations available.
The new venue will be managed by operator Trippas White Group, with ambassador chef Karen Martini overseeing the Opera House’s dining offerings.
“We are sourcing incredible produce from all around the country to create dishes that emulate the visual beauty of the Australian outback,” said Martini.
“By using native produce we want to compose a truly contemporary Australian menu worthy of our nation’s icon. We’re so excited to be working with the Opera House to create a unique events experience in one of the world’s most spectacular locations.”