Stories and essays on food, travel, culture.
If you are ever in Sydney (as opposed to Sidney), a visit to the Opera House no doubt occupies pride of place in the list of things to do, but a tour of the Opera House is in order as well. The Opera House offers frequent conducted tours, including visits to the performance halls and theater spaces.
The tour takes a good hour. Strollers, backpacks and coats are required to be checked in at the cloak room prior to the tour. So if you are traveling with children, be prepared to carry the younger ones around, including up and down a few flights of stairs.
The story of how the iconic building came into existence – complete with the designer resigning midway through the project, the final cost going over budget many times over, the project taking 10 years longer than anticipated to complete – is itself the stuff of drama.
From a distance, the layers of its lotus shape seem so delicate as they hang in the air, perpetually waiting to be peeled back, the exterior walls shining in the brilliant sun.
A view of the Opera House as you walk up from the Circular Quay
But up close, as you marvel at the design that manages to hold up those petals, it becomes obvious why these massive walls of concrete are vital to the structure.
An inside wall of the Opera House
A close up of the tiled exterior walls
The Opera House hosts many performances, homegrown and touring, including plays, concerts, operas and meetings. One of the advertisements we saw was for a performance by Asha Bhosle.
The Utzon Room, dedicated to architect Jorn Utzon who designed the Opera House. The room, dedicated to host children’s programming, has an awesome view of the harbor and is built using Utzon’s design principles.
The Utzon Room
The main performance hall is massive and imposing. Sound dampers hang from the ceiling and can be lowered and raised according to the needs of a particular production.
The piano in the foreground was wheeled out and the room was being readied for a performance later that evening. The massive pipe organ high up in the back dominated the stage.
Here’s a link to the Sydney Opera House Website for tour information and tickets.