I love the look of the Sydney Opera House roof on a sunny day, its tiles glistening against a blue sky. This was our third trip to Sydney Australia, and the first time we went inside the Opera House. It wasn’t to see a show, although we were quite tempted to see My Fair Lady directed by Julie Andrews. Instead, we opted for a tour inside one of the world’s most recognisable buildings. The Syndey Opera House is an engineering wonder, a UNESCO world heritage site, and nothing short of spectacular.
Designed by Jørn Utzon and opened by HRM Queen Elizabeth II in October 1973, today the Sydney Opera House is the busiest performing arts centre in the world. We are just two of the 8.2 million visitors expected this year.
The Sydney Opera House location is actually on Tubowgule, the land of the Gadigal Clan. Our tour started by honouring Aboriginal protocol and acknowledging the Custodians of Gadigal country.
The stunning and acoustically pleasing Sydney Opera House concert hall capacity is 2700 people including 700 on stage. It is designed for instrumental sound. White birch wood is used for the walls as well as the seats for acoustic purposes. The lit glass saucers over the stage raise or lower to distribute the best sound. The organ displays 138 pipes in front and over 10,000 pipes in the rear, making it the largest mechanical tracker-action pipe organ in the world.
We visited the foyers of several of the other theatres, each with unique features and views, and each used for intervals (intermissions) and party hire (rental).
Next, we headed outside for a closer look at the one million Sydney Opera House tiles that make up the iconic sails. Two colours and seven varieties of tiles, with both shiny and matte finishes, create the effect.
Our tour highlights were getting into the concert hall and the Studio (no photos), learning a bit of the opera house history and discovering how smoothly the three sails work together. Not getting into more of the theatres was our disappointment, although, we do understand. As an active theatre, some events and rehearsals take place during the day.
The day after our tour we walked across the Harbour Bridge. Not the heart-pounding adrenaline walking tour over the top, but a gentle walk on the footpath on the same level as the traffic. As we approached the other side, I captured a different view of the most famous opera house in Australia.
- The one hour Sydney Opera House tour that we took, is available daily between 9 am and 5 pm. Advanced booking can be made here, or get the total experience and take a tour with a show and dinner included.
- There are plenty of eating venues surrounding the Opera House and several must eat foods in Sydney.
- Find the Sydney Opera House schedule on their official website.
There’s a whole lot more of Sydney to see, and one way to save money is with a Sydney Pass. It includes admission in Sydney to the Sea Life Aquarium, Tower Eye (with 4D Experience), Wild Life Zoo, Madame Tussauds, plus a Harbour Cruise (either a highlights tour or a hop-on hop-off cruise).
Have you been inside the Sydney Opera House? Did you see a performance?
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Disclaimer: We were provided with a complimentary tour. As always, the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.
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