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Sydney Opera House Facts

Sydney Opera House Facts

Sydney Opera House, the landmark of Sydney is an architectural wonder. It's amongst the most recognizable prototypes that define the modern world. There are many fascinating facts regarding the inception of this marvelous complex.
Vacayholics Staff
Australia, is quite popular for its scenic beaches and wonderful edifices. Taking a tour through this beautiful country, one can come across many examples of fine architecture. An enchanting building, the Sydney Opera House was built to cater to the cultural expression and expansion. This renowned structure is situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The Sydney Opera House was the brainchild of Danish architect Jorn Oberg Utzon (April 9, 1918 - November 29, 2008).
The Beginnings
➤ The Director of the New South Wales (NSW) State Conservatorium of Music, Eugene Goossens, in the late 1940s expressed a wish for the construction of a proper theatrical house larger than the Sydney Town Hall. But it took fourteen long years before NSW Premier Joseph Cahill solicited for a opera house design.

➤ A design competition for the opera house was announced by the NSW, on September 13,1955 to ensure the best design in terms of practical use of space and design.

➤ Architects from more than 32 countries participated in this competition. A 39 year old architect from Denmark, Jorn Oberg Utzon was declared winner and awarded the construction project 2 years later. He was also given a prize money of £5,000 and later won the Pritzker Prize, globally known to be architecture's highest honor.

➤ The shell like shapes, made with white Swedish tiles, brought alive the artistic moods of the Opera House. The effect of dawn to dusk is excellently played out by the brilliance of the white tile surfaces.

➤ Sydney Harbor's Port Jackson was used as a backdrop location. Ove Arup and Partners, an engineering company, was roped in for making the blueprint design a reality. The roof depicts a ship at full sail, merging excellently with its surrounding.

➤ The Opera House was built on 4.4 acres of land and is 183 meters long and 120 meters wide. The original estimated cost of construction was US $7 million but the final cost came to US $102 million approximately.

➤ The actual building of the Opera House took 10 years more than its intended date (January 26, 1963). It even costed aprroximately 14 times more than its original quotation.
Interesting Facts about Sydney Opera House
➤ Before the construction, Bennelong Point was developed as Governor Macquarie Fort and was later used as a tram shed.

➤ The Sydney Opera House is the world's most characteristic buildings of the 20th century and also is one of the world's most famed venues for performing arts.

➤ 233 designs were submitted in the competition, after evaluation of which, the present design was selected. This monumental building houses the Opera Theater, the Playhouse, the Studio, the Utzon Room, the Drama Theater, and the Forecour.

➤ It is also the home for a recording studio, two retail outlets, restaurants and bars. Important ceremonies, social functions and conferences are also held in the Opera House.

➤ On 20th October, 1973, Queen Elizabeth II inaugurated the Sydney Opera House. It accommodates the Sydney Theater Company, Opera Australia and the Sydney Symphony.

➤ The entire complex is handled by the Sydney Opera House Trust under the New South Wales Ministry of Arts. The studio has a maximum capacity of 400 people.

➤ Guided tours are arranged for approximately 200,000 people every year. The Playhouse, an end-stage theater has a seating capacity of 398 people.

➤ The Concert of the Opera House which houses the Sydney Symphony, has approximately 2,680 seats. The Opera Theater, with 1,547 seats serves as the home for The Australian Ballet and Opera Australia. The Drama Theater, having a seating capacity of 544, is used by the Sydney Theater Company and other theatrical and dance performers.

➤ It also has its own opera called 'The Eighth Wonder'. Since its opening in 1973, 3000 events are conducted every year, having an annual audience of 2 million approximately, for its performances.

➤ The Sydney Opera House was amongst the 20 finalists in the new Seven Wonders of the World. It was voted a 'cultural' UNESCO World Heritage Site on June 28, 2007.
Australian tourism has received a boost since this extraordinary marvel was built. The Sydney Opera House is an artistic expression of world culture and heritage. People from around the globe throng this marvelous building to have an enthralling experience in the musical journey. If you are on a tour to Australia, don't forget to visit this architectural wonder.