Sydney Opera House
Among all the tourist attractions in Sydney, the magnificent Opera House is the shining star. Inaugurated in 1973, it is a great architectural work of the 20th century. It was built for opera. Sydney Opera House is one of the most famous buildings in the world and its history is linked inextricably with our own.
Perched on Bennelong Point, a tongue of land protruding into Sydney Harbour, this UNESCO World Heritage Site comprises a complex of roofs shaped like huge shells or billowing sails that blend beautifully with its waterfront location. The glistening harbor surrounds The Sydney Opera House on three sides and the palm-studded Royal Botanic Gardens border it to the south.
History of Sydney Opera House:
One of the most iconic buildings in the world – the Sydney Opera House is an architectural masterpiece and vibrant performance space. Much more than an opera house, the structure encompasses theaters, studios, a concert hall, rehearsal, and reception rooms, restaurants, and a spectacular open-air forecourt overlooking the harbor and city. American architect Louis Kahn once said, “The sun did not know how beautiful its light was until it was reflected off this building.” Today visitors can admire the building’s great beauty and learn about its turbulent history on a guided tour.
This much-celebrated international icon has a rocky past. In 1957, the government selected Bennelong Point for a cultural center and launched an international competition for its design. Danish architect, Jørn Utzon emerged as the winner. But from the outset, the project was fraught with controversy. Technical problems arose, delaying construction, and costs mounted. In 1966, the architect, disappointed and disillusioned, withdrew from the project Sydney Opera House and left the country.
The Opera House was finally completed ten years later than planned; the cost of the building, originally estimated at A$10 million, had multiplied tenfold, but the money was raised by a series of Opera House lotteries. The Queen officially opened the building to the public on October 20, 1973. Utzon did not attend the ceremony and his name was never mentioned.
In 1999, the Sydney Opera House Trust and NSW Government spearheaded a reconciliation with Utzon and encouraged him to submit a set of design principles to guide further work on the building. In 2004, a year after the Opera House celebrated its 30th birthday, the NSW premier opened the newly refurbished Reception Hall, a collaboration of the inspired Danish architect, and renamed it the Utzon Room in his honor. This room is the first authentic Utzon interior in the building.
After 2004, Utzon collaborated with his architect son on several other building improvements. The most significant was The Colonnade, which opened up the shared foyers of the Playhouse, The Studio, and Drama Theatre with large windows and glass doors so visitors can enjoy harbor views from these areas. Queen Elizabeth II opened the project in 2006, formally recognizing the talented Utzon for his incredible vision. Unfortunately, he was too old at the time to travel to Sydney for the ceremony.
The Sydney Opera House is an architectural masterpiece and vibrant performance space. Among all the tourist attractions in Sydney, the magnificent Opera House is the shining star. The Sydney Opera House is a great architectural work of the 20th century.