Sydney Opera House is a famous landmark of Australia. It is almost synonymous with the country. It was first started in 1959. The famed Danish architect Jorn Utzon designed it. It took about 14 years to complete this superb structure but when it was completed people agree that was well worth its time taken. The structure was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973, 20th October. The most notable part of its architecture is the “sails design”. It is a superb feat of engineering however it also is the main cause for some of the utilitarian limitations of the structure. Located in the very heart of the city it has an opera theatre, a drama theatre and a recital hall. There are restaurants and bar as well. In 1998 the fifth of the long line of theatres were added here. Another fascinating trivia about the Opera house is that in those days it was estimated that a whooping $160 million was used in its construction. This was paid by the public who bought series of lotteries to win the first prize for $1 million. There are regular tours to the Opera House.
Most of the major performing arts programs in Australia are held in Sydney Opera House. It is located on Bennelong Point with a good view of the harbor and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are on an average 1500 performances taking place here each year. Many famous performing arts companies like the Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony arranges for their shows to be performed here. The Sydney Opera House Trust controls the main operation of the building. The building looks like a series of precast concrete sheels in the roofs and structures. The whole structure is set in a podium. The white coloration of the shell like precast concrete is due to glossy white and matte tiles. The glass curtain the foyer is another of its determining feature. The exterior is constructed with granite and white birch plywood of the best quality has been used in the interior. The Concert hall is on the Western Group and the Opera Theatre lies in the Eastern zone of the structure. The Drama Theatre, the Playhouse, and The Studio is in the podium.
The main performance centers in the Sydney Opera House are
- The Concert Hall. It accommodates about 2,678 seats. This place is used mainly by the Sydney Symphony . It also contains the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ
- The Opera Theatre, accommodates about 1,507 seats and is mainly used by the Opera Australia and The Australian Ballet.
- The Drama Theatre, accommodatesabout 544 seats,and is used by the Sydney Theatre Company . Dance companies and Theatre companies also perform here.
- The Utzon Room, named after the main and pioneer engineer of the structure can accommodate about 210 people.
- Performances are also set outside in the Northern and Western Foyer
- There is a huge recording studio with the latest technology of audio visual techniques. Retail outlets, restaurants, and bars are also here.
There are many guided tours in Sydney Opera House. One such tour deals with Jorn Utzon vision of the Opera House and will tell about the genius architect. The backstage tours gives you a sneak peek at the backstage of the theatre and art. To stand in the Concert Hall Stage is a different feeling. The limelight makes you forget your trivial worries.