ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Architecture

Man Made Marvel - The Sydney Opera House

Updated on January 8, 2010

The Sydney Opera House is located in Sydney, Australia. Situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the older and equally famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. The building and its surroundings form a globally recognised and iconic Australian image.

Designed by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon, Sydney Opera House is one of the most distinctive and famous 20th century buildings, and one of the most prestigious performing arts venues in the world.

As well as many ballet, musical and theatre productions, the Opera House is the home of Opera Australia, the Sydney Symphony and the Sydney Theatre Company. It is administered under the government department of the New South Wales Ministry of the Arts by the Opera House Trust.

Sydney Opera House Facts and Figures

  • The sail structure of the the Sydney Opera House was made with a series of large precast concrete 'shells'.
  • Each section is taken from a hemisphere of the same radius.
  • Although the roof structures of the Sydney Opera House are commonly referred to as shells, they are in fact not shells in a strictly structural sense, but are precast concrete panels supported by precast concrete ribs.
  • The Opera House covers 4.5 acres (1.8 hectares) of land.
  • The Opera House is 183 metres (605 feet) long and about 120 metres (388 feet) wide at its widest point.
  • The building is supported on 580 concrete piers sunk up to 25 metres below sea level.
  • The power supplied to the Opera House is equivalent of a town of 25,000 people. The power is distributed by 645 kilometres of electrical cable.
  • The roofs of the House are covered with 1,056,000 glossy white and matte cream Swedish-made tiles, though from a distance the tiles look only white.
  • Despite their self-cleaning nature, the roof tiles have scheduled maintenance and periodic replacement.

Proposition and Planning

Planning for the Sydney Opera House began 30 years before it was official opened, by the then Director of the NSW State Conservatorium. of Music. Mr Eugene Goossens lobbied for a suitable venue for large theatrical productions.

At the time the only venue for such productions was the Sydney Town Hall, which was not considered large enough.

By 1954, Goossens succeeded in gaining the support of NSW Premier Joseph Cahill, who called for designs for a dedicated opera house. Goossens also proposed Bennelong Point to be the site for the Opera House.

233 entries from 32 countries were submitted for the competition when launched by Cahill on 13 September 1955.

The criteria specified a large hall seating 3000 and a small hall for 1200 people, each to be designed for different uses including full-scale operas, orchestral and choral concerts, mass meetings, lectures, ballet performances and other presentations.

The winning design was announced in 1957, submitted by Jørn Utzon, a Danish architect. Utzon arrived in Sydney in 1957 to help supervise the project.

The project was built in three stages:

  • Stage I (1959–1963) building the upper podium.
  • Stage II (1963–1967) construction of the outer shells.
  • Stage III (1967–1973) interior design and construction.

Official Opening

On October 20, 1973 the Opera House was formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony attended by millions.

The opening was televised and included fireworks and a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.

Prior to the official opening, two performances had already taken place in the finished building.

A performance of Sergei Prokofiev's War and Peace was played at the Opera Theatre on September 28, 1973. And a public concert in the Concert Hall conducted by Charles Mackerras was performed on September 29, 1973.

But as early as 1960 there had been performances during the contruction of the Opera House. A number of lunchtime performances were arranged for the workers. So the first artist to perform at the Opera House was Paul Robeson.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Longtail profile image
      Author

      Longtail 8 years ago

      Ginger bread!

      Just kidding. Concrete and steel.

    • profile image

      mokhtiar  8 years ago

      what is it made of ?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)