Sydney Opera House Facts

Below are some of the facts about the Sydney Opera House:

  • It was Eugene Goossens who in late 1940s expressed his wish for construction of a theatrical house larger than the Sydney town hall.
  • In 1955, an open competition was lunched asking for designs for the new opera house by New South Wales (NSW) government.
  • Architects participated from more than 32 countries. Jorn Oberg Utzon, a 39, year old architect was declared the winner. However, before that his design was dismissed by three judges. The fourth judge selected his design as final.
  • He became the winner of Pritzker prize, the renowned award for the highest honor in architecture. He also won a prize money worth $50,000.
  • The construction of the opera house was started in 1959. Later after an ego clash with the main architect the construction delayed. Finally, it was opened in 1973.
  • There are five major performing space in the Opera house making it a full scale performing art complex.
  • The largest and the grandest hall among all is the concert hall with 2690 seats. It has the best acoustic of any building existing in the world today.
  • It is believed that while the architect John Utzon was peeling an orange the idea of the arched roof design came to his mind.
  • The total cost incurred for construction of the opera house was about AUD 102 million. Earlier it was estimated that it will be around $7 million.
  • There is a restaurant named Guillaume at Bennelong located at the opera house. It is considered as one of the finest restaurant in Sydney.
  • Tourist get the best view of the Opera House when they come by ferry approaching from the Circular Quay.
  • The first person to perform at Sydney Opera house was Paul Robeson. He climbed the scaffolding and sang for the laborers as they were eating their lunch.
  • Over the structure there are about 1 million roof tiles that is covering the 1.62 hectares sitting. These tiles were made in Sweden.
  • Every year this Opera house host more than 3,000 events. About 200,000 people takes guided tour of the building ever year.
  • The smallest room in the opera house is the Utzon room that can sit about 210 people.
  • In 1980 Arnold Schwarzenegger won his bodybuilding title of Mr. Olympia in the Concert Hall.
  • On September 23, 1973, the first opera was performed at the Opera House. It was War and Peace by Sergei Prokofiev.
  • Queen Elizabeth II has visited the Opera house four times after its inauguration.