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Sydney Oper House

Essay by   •  June 16, 2015  •  Course Note  •  369 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,095 Views

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Sydney Opera House is located on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, adjacent to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Aboriginal name for the Point was “Tu-bow-gule” meaning “meeting of the waters”. The Point was first developed as a fort, named after Governor Macquarie. Later it was used as a tram shed.


There were 233 designs submitted for the Opera House design competition held in 1956. In January 1957, Jørn Utzon was announced the winner. He won ₤5000 for his design.

The original estimate to build Sydney Opera House was $7 million. The final cost of Sydney Opera House was $102 million. Sydney Opera House was largely paid for by a State Lottery. It was originally estimated that building Sydney Opera House would take four years but it took fourteen instead.

In May 2003 Jørn Utzon was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize – the Nobel Prize of the architectural community.


Work commenced on Sydney Opera House in 1959 and 10,000 construction workers were engaged. The highest roof shell of Sydney Opera House is 67 metres above sea-level, the equivalent of a 22 storey building. Eight Boeing 747s could sit wing to wing on the site. Sydney Opera House was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973.


There are seven performance venues at Sydney Opera House – the Concert Hall, the Opera Theatre, Playhouse, Drama Theatre, The Studio, the Forecourt and the Utzon Room.

The Playhouse was originally used as a cinema and in the late 1970s was a popular venue for surfing movies. In the Concert Hall, Arnold Schwarzenegger won his final Mr Olympia body building title in 1980.


Since the building opened in 1973 until June 2005, 87,839 performances and events have been staged. And more than 57 million people have attended performances and events there. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has visited Sydney Opera House five times.

The biggest crowd to ever attend a performance at Sydney Opera House was in 1996 for the “Farewell to the World” concert of the band, “Crowded House”, which was televised around the world. Sydney Opera House has its own opera written about it, called The Eighth Wonder.

The surface of the Opera is perfectly smooth. That’s why light shows are frequently demonstrated on it.



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