Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sydney Opera House

If you are ever in Sydney (as opposed to Sidney), a visit to the Opera House no doubt occupies pride of place in the list of things to do, but a tour of the Opera House is in order as well. The Opera House offers frequent conducted tours, including visits to the performance halls and theater spaces.

The tour takes a good hour. Strollers, backpacks and coats are required to be checked in at the cloak room prior to the tour. So if you are traveling with children, be prepared to carry the younger ones around, including up and down a few flights of stairs.

The story of how the iconic building came into existence - complete with the designer resigning midway through the project, the final cost going over budget many times over, the project taking 10 years longer than anticipated to complete - is itself the stuff of drama.

From a distance, the layers of its lotus shape seem so delicate as they hang in the air, perpetually waiting to be peeled back, the exterior walls shining in the brilliant sun.

A view of the Opera House as you walk up from the Circular Quay

From Luna Park, across the harbor

But up close, as you marvel at the design that manages to hold up those petals, it becomes obvious why these massive walls of concrete are vital to the structure.

An inside wall of the Opera House

A close up of the tiled exterior walls

The Opera House hosts many performances, homegrown and touring, including plays, concerts, operas and meetings. One of the advertisements we saw was for a performance by Asha Bhosle.

The Utzon Room, dedicated to architect Jorn Utzon who designed the Opera House. The room, dedicated to host children's programming, has an awesome view of the harbor and is built using Utzon's design principles.

The Utzon Room

The main performance hall is massive and imposing. Sound dampers hang from the ceiling and can be lowered and raised according to the needs of a particular production.

The piano in the foreground was wheeled out and the room was being readied for a performance later that evening. The massive pipe organ high up in the back dominated the stage.

Here's a link to the Sydney Opera House Website for tour information and tickets.


AD said...

Man, I'm jealous. How do you manage to travel so much?

Anonymous said...

Thats such a lovely read.

Also wanted to say - the pic in your header is fab.

Anonymous said...

Did you know Nilu has a position on you? You are doomed

Sujatha Bagal said...

Aspi, a hundred posts can come out of one trip :))

N, thanks. :)

Arthi, thanks for the link, but how am I doomed? :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Sujatha,

I still have to read all the new posts you've put up. Just wanted to say I love the new look. Is that a picture you took?

Sujatha Bagal said...

Hi Anjali, welcome back! The credit for that pic goes to my husband. It's part of a larger picture of a storefront in Jaipur -with more umbrellas and some colorful dresses.

Unknown said...

Great post, and wonderful pics. Btw, I attended a Kronos Quartet featuring Asha Bhosle in Boston a couple of years ago. It was wonderful, except for some Indian folks behind us who came expected a Bollywood Dhamaka, not essentially a classical music show, and were very disappointed. Seeing a picture of that poster reminded me of that show.