Sydney Australia Opera House

"Sydney Australia Opera House - So iconicly Sydney!"

What a beautiful building! What architectural brilliance! For most this is a "Must Visit" and so it should be. Of course you can admire this building from a far, from the water, you can walk around it...but for me, nothing beats seeing a performance here.

This page gives you some history, key facts and some advice on how to get the most from your visit to the Opera House.

Sydney Australia Opera House - Some History

In 1956 the NSW premier opened a competition to find a design of an opera house for Sydney. There were over 200 entries by well known architects.

In 1957 John Utzon, an relatively unknown architect from Denmark, won the design competition for the Sydney Opera House.

Cost and complexity however had not been taken into consideration, and as a result, costs started to spiral out of control.

From 1964 the beautiful shells started to be erected but by 1965 a new government was in charge and they were unhappy with the costs involved in the project.

Utzon resigned as chief architect, which caused protests in the streets of Sydney. He left the country and did not even return for the grand opening in October 1973. It was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on the 20th October.

It was not until 1999 when the Sydney government managed to persuade Utzon to return to be re-united with the Sydney Australia Opera House. He has set key criteria for any future developments of the building to ensure they are true to his original design.

Sydney Australia Opera House Facts

Did you Know....

  • It took 8 years to build the famous Opera House "Shells"
  • The tiles for the shells took over 3 years to build
  • In 2003 Utzon received the Pritzker Prize. This is an international award and the most prestigious for an architect
  • On September 29, the first public concert in the Concert Hall took place. It was performed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra
  • The official opening by Queen Elizabeth II on 20th October 1973 included fireworks
  • It Is rumoured to have cost in excess of $102 million
  • It has over 1 million tiles on its roof
  • The Sydney Australia Opera House Is 185 metres long and 120 metres wide

  • How To See The Opera House

    Firstly, it's hard to miss! Perched on the edge of the Harbour in Circular Quay, your visit will for sure take you past this monumental Sydney Icon.

    The Sydney Opera House Tour takes place daily usually between 10am and 5pm. You can book at the Opera House shop but to save yourself a few dollars, book on line.

    They also offer an "early bird" ticket that is even cheaper if you can get yourself there for 9am - you need to book on line again to get this offer.

    The tour itself allows you inside the building. You get to sit in the famous concert hall and admire the view and acoustics. The tour is a cheaper alternative than seeing a performance.

    There is another tour that takes you even more "Behind the Scenes" - if you are into your theatre, then it's probably worth it. If not, stick to the original tour.

    Try and See the Opera House by Water Take a ferry from circular quay and you will get some lovely views of the building

    But ultimately, go and see a performance here. The concert Hall is the most impressive of the "rooms" so try and see something here. There is something on throughout the year but expect to pay at least $60 for the experience.

    Sydney Australia Opera House

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