Conductor Eugene Goossens began work with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 1947, and soon afterwards approached John Cahill, then premier of New South Wales, with an idea to build an opera house for the state. However, it was not until 1956 that the NSW Government announced that they would hold a design competition for an opera house to be located at Bennelong Point, Sydney.

A Danish architect Jorn Utzon was the winner. While the Sydney Opera House was being built, several government officials demanded Utzon make changes to his design. He refused, and the arguments between Utzon and the officials ended with Utzon leaving Australia in 1966 never to return. In 1973, the Sydney Opera House was finally completed.