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History and Background
Sydney
    Opera House
       Prior to the Sydney Opera House, Sydney had no adequate dedicated music venue.  Orchestral concerts were given in its Town Hall, and staging opera was almost impossible due to the lack of suitable stages.  The appointment of Sir Eugene Goosens to the posts of Chief Conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Director of the NSW Conservatorium of Music in 1947 brought into Sydney's musical life a focal point for the need to create a better venue for the performing arts.  Upon accepting his position, Goosens told reporters that his plans included the creation of a concert hall suitable for opera as well as orchestral performances.

       The idea was hardly revolutionary; indeed the post-war Labour government had given lip service to the concept as part of  its reconstruction and redevelopment programs.  However, apart from occasional public announcements and exhortation from Goosens, nothing happened for seven more years.

  Finally, late in 1954, the State Government of New South Wales, finding itself increasingly embarrassed by its own  inaction, became involved in a moderately supportive manner. The Premier of the day, Joseph Cahill, was enthusiastic about the idea and it was he who set up the committee which got the project under way. He also set up an appeal fund to raise money for the building. When it became obvious that the fund would not even raise the $7 million the Opera House was first estimated to cost, Mr Cahill introduced the Opera House Lotteries. The original appeal fund raised about  $900,000 and the rest of the $102 million that the Opera House ended up costing came from the profits of the lottery. The building was completely paid for by July 1975.
The NSW Government today contributes about 30% of the annual cost of maintaining and operating the complex.
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