Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most recognizable architectural wonders and a major tourist attraction in Sydney. It's located on Port Jackson, Sydney Harbour, in New South Wales Australia. It's a particularly memorable building because of its enormous sail-shaped roof structure. To most people around the world, it's the first thing that pops into mind when Sydney is mentioned. The building is located in Bennelong point, on the eastern side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Design and Construction of the Opera House

The design for the Opera house was done by architect Jorn Utzon. The design concept was inspired by a sailboat. Since the 1940s, New South Wales had been planning to construct a spectacular venue for large theatrical productions, but it wasn't until the mid-1950s that the state sponsored a design contest for the opera house.  Jorn Utzon's design was selected from thousands of others that were submitted by different architects from all over the world. The construction of the opera house was done in three major stages spanning more than 14 years. First, the podium was constructed, then the roof followed, and finally, the interior of the opera house was meticulously finished and furnished. Despite having an original budget of only $7 million, the final cost of the project was north of $100 million.

History of the Sydney Opera House

The opera house was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973, and since then it has hosted a lot of historical events, music concerts, and theatrical productions.  In 1987, Pope John Paul II delivered a major speech at the concert hall in the opera house, and in 1990, Nelson Mandela watched a choral performance at the opera house after delivering a historic speech in Sydney. Over the decades since its construction, the Sydney Opera House has been the go-to venue for many important cultural events in the city, and this has earned it an iconic status not just in Australia, but also across the world.

Interesting facts about the Sydney Opera House

  • The opera house was officially opened and commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II in the October of 1973.
  • The external length of the opera house building is about 185 metres, and its width is 120 metres.
  • The highest roof arch on the opera house has the same height as a 22-storey building.
  • There are more than 1 million tiles covering the roof of the opera house.
  • Every year, the Sydney Opera House hosts more than 3 thousand events. More than two hundred thousand people take a guided tour of the opera house every year. A total of more than 2 million tickets are sold every year for events hosted in the opera house.
  • The opera house has 7 different halls, the largest being the Concert Hall which has a sitting capacity of more than 2650 people. The smallest venue in the opera house is the Utzon Room, which can accommodate 210 people.
  • The concert hall at the Opera House is home to the world’s largest Grand Organ, which has more than 10000 pipes.
  • UNESCO added the Sydney Opera House to its list of World Heritage sites back in 2007.

If you are visiting Sydney for the first time, you can experience the beauty of the Sydney Opera House in one of two ways, You can either choose to buy a ticket to one of the events hosted there, or you can take a guided tour of the building. Taking a guided tour is cheaper than attending an event, and it’s probably a better option since you get to see the entire place. For a small fee, you can join other visitors on an hour-long tour where a knowledgeable tour guide will show you around and explain the architectural significance and the historical importance of different rooms in the opera house.  If you want to attend an event at the opera house, you see a schedule of all upcoming concerts, productions, and performances on the official website of the Sydney Opera House.

If you are a tourist in Sydney you might also enjoy watching a cricket or AFL game at the Sydney Cricket Ground SCG