When I first began telling friends that I was moving to Sydney, many of them said, ‘oh yeah, that’s the place with the Opera House, right?’
The Opera House is a universally recognized symbol for Sydney. It’s actually kind of funny considering that it’s design was originally cut from the competition to design what would become the Opera House. As Wikipedia explains:
The winner, announced in 1957, was Jørn Utzon, a Danish architect. According to legend the Utzon design was rescued from a final cut of 30 “rejects” by the noted Finnish architect Eero Saarinen. The prize was £5,000.
Quick trivia question for you: What famous midwestern monument was Eero Saarinen responsible for designing?
Anyway, the Sydney Opera House is famous worldwide, and is pretty hard to miss when you are in Sydney. It’s right on the Harbour, surrounded by water on three sides, and it faces one of my other favorite Sydney landmarks, the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
As many times as I’ve been by the Opera House, I’ve never actually been inside. Seeing an actual opera there has been on the ‘to do’ list, but its a bit on the pricey side. However, in an extreme stroke of birthday luck and parental kindness, Alex’s parents surprised us with tickets to see Turandot for his birthday.
The inside of the Opera House and the Opera Theatre feels very 60’s (which makes sense after all, that’s around when it was built). It’s a very minimal design – certainly nowhere near as opulent as the Met, but in a way I think it matches its outer decor. Of course, the Opera Theatre is only one part of the larger complex that is home to four resident companies including the ballet and symphony.
During the intermissions Alex and I headed outside to enjoy some very pretty views of the CBD.
All in all, it was a great performance made even better by being at such a beautiful and culturally significant venue!