Sydney Opera House has officially opened the doors to its new function and event centre, to be known as the Yallamundi Rooms.
The launch of the new harbourside event space marks the completion of a major project as part of the Opera House’s $273 million renewal program.
In the local Sydney Indigenous language, Yallamundi means “storyteller” and has been chosen as the name of the event space to honour the long history of gathering and storytelling by the original custodians of Bennelong Point, the Gadigal.
“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 AM.
“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 first stage of the project involved removing the long-standing events marquee from the Northern Broadwalk and restoring the building’s original façade.
What was formerly office space has now been transformed into a multi-purpose events venue to accommodate up to 400 people standing or 180 seated.
Herron welcomed the next phase of the venue’s major renewal works.
“In the lead-up to the Opera House’s 40th anniversary in 2013, we set out our ambitions for a decade of renewal, to ensure the Opera House continues to inspire generations of artists, audiences and visitors,” she said.
“Following the reopening of the Joan Sutherland Theatre on New Year’s Eve in 2017, the Yallamundi Rooms are another example of how we are realising that ambition.”
Managed by Trippas White Group, the Yallamundi Rooms will be available for a range of occasions, including corporate events, meetings and small-scale performances.
Ambassador chef Karen Martini will bring a new vision to the Sydney Opera House’s food and beverage offerings, including in the new event space.
Martini will draw on her extensive professional cooking career, family influences and Tunisian-Italian heritage.
“The Opera House is a symbol of modern Australia and that has been a big inspiration for me personally,” she said.
“We are sourcing incredible produce from all around the country to create dishes that emulate the visual beauty of the Australian outback. 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.”
The Yallamundi Rooms have been seamlessly integrated with the building by renowned architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, who conceived the 2015 fit out of Bennelong restaurant.