One of the world’s most revered buildings, Sydney Opera House is a 21st century masterpiece, an iconic public artwork, a performance venue without parallel, and an idyllic spot for reverie on a sunny day or moonlit night.
Visitors to Sydney are sometimes surprised by how accessible this World Heritage building is and how casually it graces the lives of the locals. There are no gates, no guards, and no entry fees. Anyone can stroll down to the Sydney Opera House, take photos, walk around it, go inside to use the loos, or sun themselves on the steps.
But to truly experience the magic of Sydney Opera House in all its architectural and acoustic perfection, you should do a tour and catch at least one performance.
Sydney Opera House Tours
There are several tours to choose from, including one for people with limited mobility.
The Sydney Opera House tour is conducted in English and several other languages. It goes for one hour. There’s also a fascinating Backstage Tour that takes you behind the scenes to where the stars hang out and prepare for taking the stage.
Sydney Opera House tours are popular so be sure to book.
Sydney Opera House Performances
Sydney Opera House is one of the busiest venues in the world, with over 1,600 performances a year held in its six auditoriums.
Take your pick from a dazzling lineup of dance, drama and music from some of the most exciting and creative artists in the world today.
There are hundreds of other cultural events and gatherings held at Sydney Opera House, including a special program for kids.
For information about tours, tickets and what’s on, have a look at Sydney Opera House online.
Sydney Opera House Facts
The Sydney Opera House was designed by Danish architect, Jørn Utzon, who was inspired by disparate sources, including orange segments, boat sails and Chinese architecture.
Construction started in 1959, but the building didn’t open until 1973.
Utzon left the project in 1966. He never returned to Australia to see his building complete. He did, however, accept the commission for renovations in 2004.
In 2003 Utzon won the Pritzker Prize – the highest honour in architecture.
Sydney Opera House Famous Quotes
“The sun did not know how beautiful its light was, until it was reflected off this building.”
- Architect Louis Kahn, USA
“Sydney Opera House… represents multiple strands of creativity, both in architectural form and structural design, a great urban sculpture carefully set in a remarkable waterscape and a world famous iconic building.”
- UNESCO, 2007
“…it stands by itself as one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only in the 20th century but in the history of humankind.”
- The expert evaluation report to the World Heritage Committee