The Australian Daily Telegraph reported today that the Sydney Opera House may face closures due to potentially lethal stage equipment.
The article as evidence an engineering report from the firm Marshall Day Entertech that warned: “There is a real risk to persons on stage or being carried on the flying system from a malfunction or fault with this installation and a similar, although lesser, potential risk when people are carried on the transport elevator.” The document also indicated that there was a risk of “multiple fatalities” and said the theatre’s flying system was “non-compliant with current international codes and practice”.
As with most official reports of this nature, there are no concrete qualifiers as to what “real risk” is or context to determine if “non-compliant with current international codes” is actually a problem. Miss Mussel suspects that the majority of theatres in existence don’t comply with current codes but that is neither here nor there.
The Opera House needs money and has been lobbying the government for assistance since 2000. It is likely that this year they get $130 million to help spruce the place up a bit but not the $800 million they requested for a full rekit. Thankfully, the Opera House’s fate as the world’s coolest IKEA will be delayed for a few years yet.
Other Australian news outlets printed frenzied denials from government officials. (ABC | AAP | The Australian) The most hilarious rebuttal was from NSW Premier Kristina Kenneally. She told the AAP that, “I can confirm one thing was correct in the [Telegraph] story: the Opera House is in Sydney.”
[Photograph is of an installation by Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed that is running til 20th June]