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Everything you need to know about Sydney Opera House

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Everything you need to know about Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable structure of the city. Post cards would lose their charm if the picture of Sydney Opera House was not printed on them. Every traveler that visits Sydney has Opera House on their itinerary. We might be exaggerating but if Sydney gets to be described by one picture then that has to be of Opera House. In Down Under Australia, Opera House is considered to be their best architectural marvel. If you call yourself a traveler then this place ought to be in your bucket list or a place that you have visited.

In this blog we have listed all the important information about Sydney Opera House that you need to know before visiting this architectural gem.

Brief History about Sydney Opera House

The history of Sydney Opera House dates back to the 1940’s when the city of Sydney was running in dearth of performances avenues, as the older establishment were not able to meet the needs of the city. Hence an architectural competition was organized in the city, and the structure that we see today won the competition back then. The construction of Sydney Opera House began in the year of 1959, while it took around 10,000 workers and 14 years of labor to finish it.

The first ever show hosted in the Opera House was by Paul Robeson, who dedicated it to the construction workers and the Opera House was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II. The cost of construction of the Sydney Opera House was 102 Million Dollars.

Architecture of Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House was built in the Modern Expressionist Architecture style. The construction of the structure was done in four stages, with first one to planning, the second one to upper podium construction, the third one for outer shells, and the final fourth one for the interior designs.

The main design of the Sydney Opera House was crafted by the Danish Architect Jorn Utzon, who also had help from other renowned architects like Ove Arup and Peter Hall. It is to be noted that the final design of Sydney Opera House was selected from 230 entries coming through 30 different countries. The design of the Opera House drew inspirations from the sailing ships, and from Mayan and Moroccan temples. The construction of the Opera House saw many conflicts, leading to resignation of Utzon in the second phase, however later he rejoined. The white roof of the Opera House that we see today was built with the help of 1,056,006 pieces of ivory tiles.

General Information about Sydney Opera House

To describe the beauty of Sydney Opera House, an American Architect has quoted, that Sun didn’t know how beautiful it was until it reflected its light off the Sydney Opera House. The structure also boasts of been listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to 6 theaters. It can host an approximately 2500 people at a time, and it is known for hosting around 2000 shows every year. It is estimated that around 8 Million people travel to this structure to admire its beauty and architecture.

Reasons to visit the Sydney Opera House

1 – The Opera House is known for hosting some of the best musical and theatrical performances in Sydney. So if you have interest in arts and culture then this is your go to spot.

2 – Avid travelers must straightaway head to the Opera House to admire a structure which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. They can learn about its history and architecture by visiting it in person.

3 – Visitors can also indulge in the back theater mechanism, to see how shows are orchestrated, and what does it takes to run thousands of show in a year.

4 – You can also dine in at the Rooftop opera bar and indulge in beautiful scenery of the Sydney Harbor.

5 – Sydney Opera House is a perfect place to grab some merchandize, and flaunt off your visit to this amazing spot when you return home. The souvenirs available here are amazing.

6 – If you are travelling with Kids it could be a great opportunity for them to catch up with live shows, comic shows, and live performances. Kids will sure enjoy it.

Tours available in Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House Tour

This guided tour operates on daily basis, and through this you can learn about the incredible history of the Sydney Opera House. You can uncover the secrets of Opera House. You got to note that this tour includes 300 stairs walking to be able to explore the entire premises. The price of this tour varies from 25 Dollars to 115 Dollars depending on size and age of the group. The tour is available in English, along with other popular languages such as French, German, Spanish and Mandarin. The tour lasts for 1 hour.

The Backstage Tour

If you are interested in exploring behind the scenes of Sydney Opera House, then this is the tour that you should book. Through this tour you will get access to the backstage area, the rehearsal rooms, orchestra pit, and then Green Room where the performers dine and prepare themselves for the shows. This tour runs from Thursdays to Mondays. The pricing of this tour is at 190 Dollars. You also need to make a note that children below 10 years are not allowed in this tour for safety reasons.

The running time for this tour is 2 hours, and at present it is only available on English. The tour also comes with a dining menu that you can relish while being in the Green Room.

Architectural Tour

Travelers who are interested in the architectural aspect of the Sydney Opera House can take up the architectural tour. It is to be noted that architectural tour is only available on Saturdays. The pricing for this tour ranges from 23 Dollars to 115 Dollars depending on the size and the age of the group. The running time of this tour is 1 hour and at present this tour is available only in English.

Tour and Dine

This tour runs daily, and is meant for people who like to indulge in the grandeur of Sydney Opera House along with a hearty meal. The pricing of this tour ranges from 45 Dollars to 80 Dollars depending on the age of the people taking up the tour. The tour is available in English, along with French, German, Spanish and Mandarin. The running time of the tour is 1 Plus Hours, and you do not need to make dining reservations beforehand. You can enjoy the meals at the Opera Bar or House Canteen. The avenues for dining have a diverse and inter-continental menu which will suit taste buds of all.

Taste of the House

This tour is available only on the Last Sunday of the month, so you got to prepare well in advance if you especially want to take this one. This tour includes wine and dine experiences at all the avenues of the Sydney Opera House. This tour is only available for people with an age of above 18 years. The pricing of this tour is 375 Dollars per person. The run time for this tour is 5 hours and at present it is only available in English.

Venues in the Sydney Opera House

Concert Hall

Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House is one of the most sought venue in the world for live performances. It has a Cathedral like ambience, and had underwent a multimillion dollar renovations which has led to the better acoustics for artists and audiences alike, enhanced access for mobility issues, state of art theater machinery, and much better behind the scene setups. The concert hall is also known to house world’s largest mechanical action organ.

Joan Sutherland Theatre

It is the home of Opera Australia and Ballet Australia. It is the second largest indoor avenue in the Opera House. It has a seating capacity of more than 1500 people. It has a capacity of holding around 70 musicians in its orchestra pit. The venue is known for its flexibility to adjust accordingly for various types of shows and live performances.

Drama Theatre

The Drama Theater is located in North Western Corner of the Sydney Opera House. It is an arch theater that is known for hosting many drama shows.

Playhouse

It is a dedicated space for storytelling, and plays host to productions for younger audience, including performances, debates, lectures and dance shows. The scenery inside the Playhouse can be changed according to the theme of the program,. And it has a capacity of around 400 people.

Utzon Room

This room is dedicated to the chief architect of the Sydney Opera House, and is a rather compact one with seating capability of just 200 people. The room symbolizes and exhibits the designs of the architect Utzon. It is known to house rather private events, like parties, or conferences.

Forecourt

The forecourt is the largest venue of Sydney Opera House which has a standing capacity of over 6000 people. It is perfect for open air performances with the breath taking views of the harbor. In the forecourt of Sydney Opera House, many international performances have taken place over the years including Florence, Machine and Oprah.

Dine and Wine Options at the Sydney Opera House

Midden by Mark Olive

Midden by Mark Olive is located on the Western Broadwalk. It is helmed by an indigenous Australian chef Mark Olive. The restaurant gets its name from the Middens that were formed on the Sydney Harbor by the Oyster shells in times when Opera House was not even built. The restaurant specializes in the native ingredients and items that they use for preparing food, ranging from wattle seed and bush honey to saltbush and succulents. The restaurant at present offers Lunch, Dinner and matinee high teas.

Opera Bar

Opera Bar is located on the Lower Concourse with Sydney Opera House in the backdrop. The restaurant specializes in local flavors that reflects in their spritzy cocktails and crisp pale. The menu also focuses on fresh sea food options. This is a perfect spot to enjoy some wine and cocktails, while binging on some delicious oysters. On weekends the restaurant also hosts live music and DJ setups, which are fun to hangout with a group of friends with whom you are travelling.

House Canteen

House Canteen is located on the Lower Concourse in Sydney Opera House. The restaurant is crafted by Solotel Group and Matt Moran, with a Pan Asian twist in their menu. The location of the House Canteen which is nestled beneath the sails of the opera house gives it a distinct charm.  The menu comprises of go to food to specialty intercontinental preparations.

Bennelong

Bennelong is located on the Podium level of the Sydney Opera House. It is open for Lunch between Friday and Sunday, and is open for Dinner between Wednesday and Saturday. The restaurant offers menu that best represents Australian food and wine. In praise of this restaurant, New York Times has quoted that Bennelong is the Holy Grail of Australian Restaurants. The restaurant is known for its Cathedral like interiors, and its menu is crafted by one of the most celebrated chefs of Australia Peter Gilmore.

Theatre Bars

The theater bars are open prior to the start of performances, and during the intervals of the shows. The bars offer wide range of refreshing drinks including Australian wines and cocktails. The drinks and refreshments at the theatre bars are meant to be consumed within the lounge areas of the bars, and must not be taken inside the performances avenues.

Best Time to Visit Sydney Opera House

Spring time which is September to November in Sydney is the best time to visit the Opera House. The weather is mild, and you will find flora and fauna during your trip to Sydney. During this period you will also find relatively lesser crowd. However the most popular time to visit Sydney is during summers, between the months of December and February.

During the day the best time to visit the Opera House is during sunsets, as you will get the perfect backdrop for your pictures, and also the crowd is less. If you are keen for a relaxed tour of Opera House,. Then early morning is also a good time.

Sydney Opera House Rhymes well!

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