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The Sydney Opera House 50th Birthday Festival "What Is the City but the People?"

What Is The City But The People was commissioned by The Sydney Opera House in order to celebrate its 50th anniversary and proudly supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW’s Blockbusters Funding initiative.

A celebration of the people of Sydney. Raised above the forecourt, citizens walk a 60-metre catwalk backed by live music, large-scale projected photographs and text, creating a unique portrait of people and place.


A work of the people by the people for the people, showcasing the story, sentiments and soul of the city.


From an idea by Jeremy Deller, directed by Richard Gregory, the event is one of the opening events of the Sydney Opera House 50th Birthday Festival and is designed to showcase the incredible diversity of local people and communities.

Lawyer Dan Phuong Nguyen was honoured to be one of The People of Sydney walking on this privileged stage.

Words excerpted from Ms Dan Phuong Nguyen

"I am honoured and delighted to have been nominated and selected for participation in this celebration. People and their stories make the soul of a city. Each of us is a piece of mosaic making up this beautiful city of Sydney, marked by the iconic sails of the Opera House. On the catwalk on 01/10/23, I dedicate each step to my family, my friends, my colleagues and my clients….all those who have helped make me who I am today- and of course in appreciation of my city of Sydney-my home. Come to celebrate with me & other Sydneysiders."


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