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Opera House

Home > Sydney > Theatre | Music Venues
by Emma Brown (subscribe)
I'm a freelance journalist and public relations consultant specialising in arts and entertainment.
Published August 24th 2010
No visit to Sydney would be complete without a trip to see the Opera House.

The iconic image of Sydney Harbour would be un-recognisable without its white tiled sails.

Even though the famous building appears to be modelled on sails which often surround it, the inspiration for architect Jørn Utzon was the shell shapes of a pieces of fruit, an orange.

Despite the catastrophes of the construction, with political infighting, a fallout between the architect and the state government that concluded in a massive budget blowout and the project completed ten years late, it was finally opened by her majesty the Queen in 1973.

Utzon's creation is now considered a masterpiece, he was awarded the Pritzker Prize - architecture's highest honour and the arts centre has been World Heritage Listed.

There are a number of tours offered such as The Backstage Tour, according to the Sydney Opera House Tours web page: "This intimate tour grants you exclusive access plus the chance to hear about the real life dramas that go on behind the curtain."

Free events are held on the forecourt throughout the year from the Avant-garde Transports Exceptionnels - a Duet for Dancer and Earthmover where according to the Sydney Opera House website "French performer Philippe Priasso takes on a dance partner with a difference: a giant earthmover." See the man and machine performers in action here.

To more traditional opera, ballet, symphony and theatre productions performed in the house such as The Marriage of Figaro, The Nutcracker as well as family friendly productions including Babies Proms: Music For Tutus for 2 to 5 year-olds performed in the Utzon Room.

The Babies Proms production takes advantage of the refurbishments completed in November 2009 designed by Utzon and his son Jan which transformed the Western Foyers into stylish spaces that are accessible to people with a disability and families with prams.

Internationally renowned and attended festivals are held at the famous spot such as Vivid LIVE led by American influential artists Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson.

Beyond theatrical entertainment one of the sails houses Guillaume at bennelong one of the best restaurants that Sydney has to offer.

The Opera House forecourt also provides an impressive function and wedding location and the Opera Bar is a funky venue on the lower concourse with spectacular views.

Be prepared to pay though as the eateries and bars in and around the Opera House are expensive.

It's such a special building that just a walk around it is a fun event in itself.

Images of the Sydney Opera House:

Image 1: Construction progress in 1966.
Image 2:The Utzon Room: a tribute to the architect, which was rebuilt and redecorated to a design by Utzon.
Image 3: Interior of Concert Hall.
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Why? To experience Sydney is to visit the Opera House
When: anytime
Where: Bennelong Point, Sydney
Cost: The Essential tour starts at $20.30 for Online Earlybird Concession and $28.00 for adults, performance ticket prices vary
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