Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The most magnificent Opera House in the world

The Sydney Opera House is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. In addition to representing Sydney, the opera house has also become a symbol for the country of Australia throughout the world. Resting majestically on Bennelong Point as it reaches into Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Opera House is truly an unforgettable sight. The original plan to build the opera house was put forth in 1950, and designed by John Utzon. Interestingly enough, his vision was more advanced than architectural and engineering abilities of the decade, and it wasn’t until 1973 that his ideas were finally put into place.

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 feature – the “sails” of the roof.
The Opera House covers 1.8 hectares of land. It is 183 meters long and about 120 meters wide at its widest point. It is supported on 580 concrete piers sunk up to 25 meters below sea level.Its power supply is equivalent for a town of 25,000 people. The power is distributed by 645 kilometers of electrical cable. The building and the setting look orchestrated, and the synergy between the setting and the building make it appear that the scheme actually involved flooding the harbor valley to set the building off to best advantage.
There are restaurants at the Opera House. It is often possible to purchase a combination deal of dinner and a ticket to a performance. The shops at the Opera House have wonderful merchandise. The profits help to keep this building in good repair.

The Concert Hall is the largest interior venue at the Sydney Opera House. With its high vaulted ceiling and interior finishes of brush box and white birch timber, it is designed primarily for acoustic performances. The principal performing companies in the Concert Hall are Sydney Symphony, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Festival and Sydney Philharmonic Choirs. The Opera Theatre, with 1,547 seats, is the main performance space for Opera Australia, it is also used by the Australian Ballet Company.

The Sydney Opera House is actually a complex of Theatres and halls all linked together beneath its famous shells. It has become the busiest performing arts centre in the world, averaging some 3000 events a year with audiences totaling some two million, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week closing only on Christmas and Good Friday. Books have been written, and films made chronicling the sixteen years it took to complete the Sydney Opera House.

Overlooking the harbor, the Sydney Opera House is a freestanding sculpture of spherical roofs and sail-like shells sheathed in white ceramic tiles. Stabilizing this unconventional structure required innovations in construction techniques. Like many of Utzon’s designs, the Sydney Opera House makes ingenious use of platforms. The Opera House is one of Sydney’s most popular icons with tourists and travelers from the world over visiting, photographing and standing in awe of the cultural centre of Sydney. The Queen has opened a new wing of Australia’s Sydney Opera House – which she called “the symbol of a nation”.

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