About the Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is probably one of the most recognizable features of the city of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The opera house is much loved in Sydney, and has a unique history. The design of the Sydney Opera House was the result of a contest. Whoever submitted the most desirable design won the distinction of being the creator.

In the 1940s, Sydney felt the need for a larger establishment to host fine arts productions, but it took a long time for the Sydney Opera House to open. In the 1950s, the government of Australia decided to raise funds for the needed facility, and held a competition to decide on the design.

A Dane by the name of Jorn Utzon won the competition with his innovative design for the opera house. The problem was that his design was ahead of its time, and it had to be reworked. There was no way to build the unique roof he had proposed, and he didn’t find a viable solution until 1961. After this problem was taken care of, construction could then begin.

As with many large construction projects, there were many problems with costs and budget. The situation got so heated that Mr. Utzon quit the project in the 1960s, after he had reworked the design. The project then fell into the hands of other people, and it was many years after his resignation before the project to be completed.

It wasn’t until 1973 that the Sydney Opera House was finished. It was officially opened with a cermony on October 20th, with Queen Elizabeth II doing the honors. Millions attended the event that was marked with fireworks and celebration.

The Sydney Opera House is now perhaps one of the most visited and photographed buildings in Australia, or even in the world. It is estimated that 200,000 people take a guided tour each year, and a few million take in the ballet, symphony, and other performances. A great number of visitors don’t see performances, but rather photograph the interesting exterior.

The structure was built on Bennelong Point, which juts out into the harbor. The building was built to mimic the sailboats that often grace the waters of Sydney Harbour. There are five theaters within the opera house, along with numerous rehearsal spaces, restaurants, shops, and drinking establishments. The largest theater holds over 2500 guests, while the smallest can fit 364 patrons.

In the end, the Sydney Opera House was built at a cost of $102,000,000 AU, and saw many years of frustation and problems. It is a great success, however, as two million or more people attend the 2,000 or more performances held there each year. It remains and Austrailain icon, a beautiful building gracefully situated on Sydney Harbour, silently welcoming its many visitors to Australia.

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