Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

sydney opera house

Sidney Opera House image courtsey: operapointevents.com.au

Home, to many great names.

Sydney Opera House which attracts more than 250,000 visitors a year on the merit of its marvelous style of construction is not only a venue for world’s most famous stage performances, it is home to many touring theaters, ballet troupes and musical productions. World renowned Opera Australia, the Sydney Theatre Company and Sydney Symphony also are there adding grace to one of the most graceful structures in the world. The entire complex looks like a gigantic house-boat floating in the sea spreading its masts. The design is so unique that the structure can be distinguished from any distance as there is something similar to it found nowhere else in the world

An idea of the time.

The idea of such a miraculous work actually bloomed in the mind of one man by name Eugene Goosens who had to do much campaigning to get it endorsed by Joseph Cahill the premier of NSW premises. Bennelong Peninsula where it was to be constructed was also the idea of none other than Goosens. In 1935 a competition was launched by Cahill and that which got accepted was that of Jern Utzon -a Danish architect. The real dramas were to take place after the real work was begun.

All in one.

sydney opera houseSidney Opera House image courtsey: wikipedia.org

Its construction was to take place in three stages; the first was to begin after the demolition of For Mcquqrie Tram Depot which was located in the proposed location. The whole complex consisted of 5 theaters, 5 rehearsal studios, 2 main halls, 4 restaurants, 6 bars and numerous souvenir shops. The team was always under pressure from politicians who considered as a drain of public money. This pressure has caused numerous flaws in the construction and later consumed its own time for its reconstruction.


This structure which covers 1.8 hectares was built between was commissioned in 1973 (work started in 1940) in expressionist style. A series of large pre-cast concrete shells, each taken from the same hemisphere form its roof. The whole structure is 183 (605 feet) meters long and 120 meters (388 feet) wide and supported by 580 piers sunk 25 meters below sea-level. This Opera House consumes power equal to that of a city with a population of 25,000. The architect was Jern Utzon and the structural engineer was Ove Arup and partners.

An idea that struggles to get shape.

The work of the structure was dogged by confusions and delays from the very beginning, as it is a very unconventional building, normal engineering solutions were inadequate to find solutions to the mammoth structure that had to build in such a small area in the sea. Politicians were making hay while the engineers and contractors worked relentlessly in the sun. The initial design given for competition was utterly unprofessional and construction based on that was near to impossibility.

Games; politicians play!

Change in Australian political leadership also had its impact on the course of construction as the new premier entrusted the work to the Ministry of Public Works and due to hefty political interferences Utzon had to resign and go, his place was entrusted upon Peter Hall who was eager to make drastic changes in acoustics as well as interior designs.

World Heritage Site.

All these took its own time and somehow the project could be completed in 1973. Sydney Opera House in 28th June 2007 was awarded with the ‘World Heritage’ Status by the United Nation’s Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

A ticket too many.

Sydney Opera House is home to most of the celebrated operas and theaters of Australia like Opera Australia, Sydney Theater Company, Sydney Symphony etc it plays the role of hosting to performances of celebrities admission to inside can be had just by taking a ticket to any of the Opera or play to be held or joining the guided tour program runs every half hour.

Utzon back in action.

sydney opera house

Sidney Opera House image coutsey: z.about.com

In 1999 Utzon was recalled by the trust and placed him design consultant for future modification and refurbishment of the structure. Under his direction the Sydney Opera House has undergone thorough face lift (Later one of the hall was named as ‘Utzon’s room’ for his honor).

In consolidating mode.

The Sydney Opera House is consolidating its position as Australia’s premier theater by attracting top events like meetings and conventions by offering inspiring venues using its high-tec infrastructure capable of delivering the best of service available. No doubt it is acclaimed as ‘Outside spectacular, inside fascinating!’ The $102 million (original estimate 7 million) spent is worth it, even politicians may agree.


Rohit said...

cool info! just wondering if it has any etiological relatio withdelhi's lotus temple (baha'i temple)?

Miss Jane Mansfield said...

Biby Cletus
On July 6 you were tagged... by me... as one of 8 blog personalities I would like to know more about... If you choose to accept this mission, simply post a list of 8 random facts about yourself... and invite 8 more awesome bloggers to do the same...

Berni said...

In 1977 I stood on the steps of the Opera House. It is a fabulous building.

Anonymous said...

On my list to visit in the next 5 years

AaaDee said...

Nice blog. Sydney Opera House, wish it wudnt have missed to be one among the seven wonders :) its so beautiful..!!


Wow, wonderful information you have here! :)

And the pics are amazing :)

Yes, definitively, there are more than 7 wonders.

A hug!