Home > Projects > mechanical electrical > Sydney Opera House - Joan Sutherland Theatre

Sydney Opera House - Joan Sutherland Theatre

Project Description

In 1973, an extraordinary masterpiece emerged, forever intertwined with Sydney’s identity. The splendid opera house, a creation of Danish architect Jorn Utzon, became synonymous with his name as one of the globe’s preeminent opera house architects after this triumph.

In 1972, Waagner-Biro Stage Systems introduced a revolutionary addition to the Sydney Opera House—a revolving stage with a diameter of 15 meters, accompanied by two stage platforms measuring 3.7 x 11 meters each, along with upper machinery. More than four decades down the line, this machinery has finally reached the end of its operational lifespan. As a solution, a cutting-edge fly system and a new rear stage lift have been introduced, all complemented by the refurbishment of the orchestra platforms, courtesy of Waagner-Biro Stage Systems.

Kerfoot, in collaboration with Austrian firm Waagner-Biro Stage Systems, undertook the responsibility of supplying and installing the requisite cabling and equipment for the Stage Machinery during the upgrade of the Sydney Opera House’s Main Concert Hall.


Specific items within the scope of this project were:

  • Supply and Installation of Stage Machinery Cabling
  • Supply and Installation of Under Stage Cable Containment
  • Supply and Installation of Over Stage Cable Containment
  • Supply and Installation of Power Distribution Boards
  • Coordination with all trades and services
  • Provision of as built drawings
  • Commissioning Assistance where required.
  • Connection of all over stage winches
  • Supply and Installation of all system emergency stop buttons.
  • Supply and Installation of communications cabling and racks.
  • Supply and Installation of a 550kVA UPS


Project Accolades

  • Through close collaboration with numerous stakeholders, our team effectively orchestrated the installation of a sophisticated cable reticulation system.
  • Within a span of under 7 months, our team dedicated over 6,500 hours to complete the tasks outlined in stage 1.
  • The project’s triumph was so pronounced that it led to Kerfoot securing a second project from the same client.
  • Over the course of 2 years, stage 2 demanded a collective effort of more than 19,000 man hours.
  • Significantly, more than 100 hoists were meticulously installed as part of this undertaking.
  • Remarkably, the project’s execution transpired amidst the peak of the Covid pandemic.
  • The ultimate outcome was nothing short of spectacular, solidifying the project’s success in enhancing the Opera House.
  • The endeavour garnered substantial media attention both during its implementation and upon its successful completion.

Get in touch.