The Sydney Opera House is reported to be in such severe financial straits that it could face permanent closure.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper in Sydney reports that damning internal reports reveal the cash crisis is so desperate performers' lives are at risk from ancient stage machinery because there is no money to update it.
A senior Opera House source told the paper that government action is needed to keep the venue operating, the ABC reports.
The source says the reports indicate that if something radical isn't done, the famous venue will have to close.
Opera House chief executive Richard Evans has confirmed it may have to close permanently if state and federal governments do not give $800 million to replace stage machinery.