| Find City | Sydney Australia
Location: Bennelong Point, east of Circular Quay
With its glorious sail-like dome structure, the Sydney Opera House is perhaps known as Australia's best known icon. The distinctive building was built in 1956 by Jørn Utzon who won the international competition for best architectural design for Sydney's new Centre For the Arts. The sail-like structure was said to be influenced from Utzon's memory of the ship yard where his father worked. He was also said to be influenced by the amphitheatres of the Greeks and the formation of clouds across the landscape.
The roof of the building did not go without difficulty. In his vision, Utzon did not wish the engineers to support them with columns, claiming that it would disrupt and cluttered the interior space. He solved the matter by forming the shells into sections of a single imaginary sphere. If you ever get a chance to look at the roof of the Opera House, you will find literally millions of white and beige tiles covering the dome. Each tile was then glazed to catch the sun's rays at each hour of the day, making the Opera House a wonder to behold.
In 1965, to Sydney's great loss, a change in the government caused funding cuts to the Opera House causing Utzon to return to Denmark. His dream of compliting the interiors and designing the sophisticated acoustic system was never realized. Work on the building then completed by a local firm in 1973 by Hall, Todd and Littlemore.
The Sydney Opera House is a triumph of modern architecture. It has more than 900 rooms including the major theatres of the concert hall, the Opera Theatre, the Drama Theatre and The Playhouse. There are four fine dining restaurants located in the building as well as a reception hall. In 1991, the Sydney Opera House gained recognition as one of the world's seven wonders.
Performances in the Opera House include ballet, chamber, orchestral, opera and recitals. Bookings may be booked directly by contacting the Opera House or through Ticketek. The Australian Opera has two seasons per year in early January through mid March and in winter; from early June to October. The Ballet performs from March to May and in December. The Chamber Music is held during most of the year and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra frequently performs in the Concert Hall. Ask for programs available from the Opera House.
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TIP: Getting to the Opera House is best done by taking the train to Circular Quay station. Take the walk along the quay's harbour towards east up to the giant dome. Walking tours are available in the afternoon. Checked at reception hall for more details.
The Opera House closes during the night to the public but there are regular performances which you can attend. Wear semi formal clothes to the performances. If you are thinking of catching the evening sunset, bring warm jackets as it can be quite breezy.