This building is something of an enigma.
Firstly, it's unavoidable. Every tourist coming here wants to see it and, when you do, it's certainly and eyecatcher. Yet beneath the stunning surface lie more questions than perhaps there are answers for even today.
The main one for me is, "Why build an opera house whose accoustics don't match the grandeur of the exterior?". It's no secret that they need improving but you can't help but wonder why it wasn't done right in the first place.
It probably had more to do with the fact that it was more than 10 times over budget by the time it was completed and the completion itself was something that looked like an insurmountable obstacle at one stage.
The sails concept is no longer unique in the world but it has certainly left Sydney with one of the most recognizable foreshores of any city anywhere.
The Opera House is situated on Bennelong Point, which reaches out into the harbour to the east of Circular Quay. The skyline of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the blue water of the harbour and the Sydney Opera House, viewed from a ferry or from the air, is dramatic and unforgettable.
Fondest memory: Ironic, perhaps, that this Australian icon was designed by a Danish architect - Jorn Utzon.
In the late 1950s the New South Wales (NSW) Government established an appeal fund to finance the construction of the Sydney Opera House, and conducted a competition for its design.
Utzon's design was chosen. The irony was that his design was, arguably, beyond the capabilities of engineering of the time. Utzon spent a couple of years reworking the design and it was 1961 before he had solved the problem of how to build the distinguishing 'sails' of the roof.
The venture experienced cost blow-outs from the original $10,000,000 and there were occasions when the NSW Government was tempted to call a halt. In 1966 the situation - with arguments about cost and the interior design, and the Government withholding progress payments - reached crisis point and Jorn Utzon resigned from the project. The building was eventually completed by others in 1973. After more than 30 years, the Sydney Opera House has its first interior designed by Utzon. The Utzon Room, a transformed reception hall that brings to life Jorn Utzon's original vision for his masterpiece, was officially opened on September 16, 2004.
Sydney Opera House facts and figures:
Was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon
Was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 20 October 1973
Its first performance, The Australian Opera's production of War and Peace by Prokofiev
Cost $AU 102,000,000 to build
Conducts 3000 events each year
Provides guided tours to 200,000 people each year
Has an annual audience of 2 million for its performances
Includes 1000 rooms
Is 185 metres long and 120 metres wide
Has 2194 pre-cast concrete sections as its roof
Has roof sections held together by 350 kms of tensioned steel cable
Has over 1 million tiles on the roof
Uses 6225 square metres of glass and 645 kilometres of electric cable
Ph: 61 2 9250 7111
Fax: 61 2 9250 7950
"WE HAVE TO GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER BETTER ... ,
... it makes us understand one another better,
trust each other more, and live together more peacefully."
In 2002 and 2003, this was the motto of the circle of "United Buddy Bears" next to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin - now promoting this message of tolerance and understanding among nations on a global tour.
These "United Buddy Bears" (each 2 m tall) stand together hand in hand in complete harmony - representing 125 member states of the United Nations.
The idea for this exhibition was created 2002 by the inventors of the Buddy Bears Eva and Klaus Herlitz, having three aspects in mind
Due to the diverse design of the Buddy Bears - always typical for the respective countries - their visitors can experience a journey around the world and receive a lot of information about the individual countries as the basis for a higher level of understanding.
The symbolic message of the circle promotes tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
Each Buddy Bear has been designed individually by an artist on behalf of his or her native country. The international artists' different styles are joined together in a very cheerful way as one work of art, spreading zest for life.
Buddy Bear activities and help for children in need have formed an inseparable unit. A total of 1,114,000 € (as per Feruary 2006) has so far been generated through donations and selling Buddy Bears at auctions in aid of UNICEF and local organisations helping children in need.
UNICEF main beneficiary of all Buddy Bear charity activities
"As the circle of "United Buddy Bears" wants to promote international understanding, we would at the same time like to raise awareness about all those countries that desperately need support."
ALL INFORMATION REGARDING THE UNITED BUDDY BEARS WAS OBTAINED FROM THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE
Fondest memory: Bulgaria Buddy Bear
Buddy Bär Berlin GmbH
"Black - White letters
- condensed memories
Written over centuries
- alive today.
Red - Green experiences.
Stacked by people,
created by nature.
- of a childhood.
Everyone wants to SEE the Sydney Opera House. Most people tour it in some form or fashion. I'd think that the most entertaining and memorable visit would be to see or hear a show of some kind.
Among the entities that call the Opera House home are..
The Australian Ballet, www.australianballet.com.au, Phone 02/9223 9522
The Australian Chamber Orchester, www.aco.com.au, Phone 02/9357 4111
Opera Australia, www.opera-australia.org.au, Phone 02/9699 1099
Sydney Symphony Orchestra, www.symphony.org.au, Phone 02/9334 4644
Fondest memory: I only wish we could have had an opportunity to hear the Sydney Symphony or Chamber Orchestra in the Opera Hall. They were not performing during our visit to Sydney.
A great place to walk around in summer. Yes there are heaps of tourists, but that's what makes it a lively place to be. You have the Sydney Opera House on one side, the Rocks and Sydney Harbour Bridge on the other. In the middle are different kinds of ferries that will take you to almost any point in the harbour.
Fondest memory: There are quite a few street performers around the Quay with all performing different kinds of acts, some comical, some 'dangerous' (aka, with fire involved) and there was even some aboriginals performing 'tribal' dances (representing a story).
Visit the Opera House (commonly known as "the nun's scrum", a subject of thousands of postcards and T-shirts. With its image on millions of happy snaps, the Sydney Opera House is Australia's most recognisable icon. Yet is not without controversy, 14 troubled years (construction commenced in 1959 and finished in 1973), and $95 million over budget later, its controversial sail-like roofs gleam and glisten against the appropriate backdrop of Sydney Harbour. Finally finished in 1973, it now has an impressive yearly program of up to 3000 contemporary and classical performances and is a truly memorable place for theatre, opera and ballet, in one of the most magnificent city settings anywhere in the
world. The Opera House was build after a design from "Joern Utzon".
See for more pics in the Opera House travelogue please.
The Sydney Opera House is recognizable around the world. . .and everyone seems to have an opinion about its attractiveness (or lack thereof). I was surprised by how much I liked the look of it ~ it radiates in the daylight. . .and creates some striking shadows on the water as the sun rises and sets.
The design and construction of the Opera House were troubled ~ it's worth taking a guided tour to get the insider's history and view of the process.
see the Sydney Opera House it is breath taking inside and out.I would have loved to have seen a show in there.
Fondest memory: I miss the night life the most.There was always something to do,a club to goto,or a great pub to meet friends.I found everyone to be Very friendly and helpful with advice or directions.
GO TO CIRCULAR QUAY. EVERYON MENTIONS THIS BECAUSE THERE IS A REASON. IT'S REAL COOL. LOTS OF VENDORS AND STREET ACTS. NOT TOO MANY AUSSIES THOUGH! HAHAH
Fondest memory: THE WATER. THE BEAUTY OF A PORT THAT OPENS TO THE OCEAN IS JUST AMAZING. TAKE A BOAT RIDE UP THE ADJACENT RIVER. NICE.
Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is the busiest performing arts centre in the world. Since its opening in 1973, it has brought countless hours of entertainment to millions of people and has continued to attract the best in world class talent year after year. Even these days, many visitors are surprised to find that the Sydney Opera House is really a complex of theatres and halls all linked together beneath its famous shells. In an average year, the Sydney Opera House presents theatre, musicals, opera, contemporary dance, ballet, every form of music from symphony concerts to jazz as well as exhibitions and films. It averages around 3,000 events each year with audiences totaling up to two million. In addition, approximately 200,000 people take a guided tour of the complex each year. The Opera House operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year except Christmas Day and Good Friday.
Favorite thing: Here is the Sydney Opera House again late in the afternoon... The Opera House looks so different depending on where you're standing...
Favorite thing: Here is another view of the Sydney Opera House... This is looking from the back of the building out towards the water...
Favorite thing: This is the most famous Australian building(same with Harbour bridge),the Opera House! It has very strange shape and it looks very nice from inside too!
Favorite thing: check out the world famous SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE. I guess I don't even have to mention about this monumental landmark. Nobody will ever dream of not visiting this place if they were to be in Sydney.
I will encourage you to go to the Sydney Opera House.
It is really fanastic.
You will not regret at all.
Favorite thing: Check out the Sydney Opera House...you really can't miss it! You will even see it from most aeroplanes as you fly into or out of Sydney.