“One of the most wonderful memories in my life was when I sang at the Opera House in Sydney. I will never forget that. It is one of the most beautiful houses I have ever sung in my life” – Nana Mouskouri
Sydney Opera House was another “UNESCO Heritage Site bucket list”-item… for some reason. Who knows why places like this get stuck in peoples’ minds, I certainly can’t tell.
But it was beautiful. When I got to Sydney I took the metro down towards wherever I found out the harbour was and decided to poke around. My only plan for this day was to see the opera house and possibly the Harbour Bridge, as it is right “next door”.
At this point in my trip I was getting a bit weary again… I wasn’t interested in having full days of exploring everything under the sun, but I had to get in my bucket list items. This is why I gave Bondi Beach a miss – I prioritized meeting friends and having some downtime.
Seeing the opera house though… It was marvellous. It was another one of those “I am finally RIGHT HERE”-moments, and I do love them. So many things I’ve been seeing on screens thinking I wanted to go there and be there, and now I was. Again.
The opera house took 14 years to build and there was a massive amount of drama concerning firing the original architect (Jørn Utzon, Danish), not inviting him to the opening ceremony and basically not bothering with him until he got the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2003.
Utzon received architecture’s highest honour in 2003. The Pritzker Prize citation read:
“There is no doubt that the Sydney Opera House is his masterpiece. It is one of the great iconic buildings of the 20th century, an image of great beauty that has become known throughout the world – a symbol for not only a city but a whole country and continent.”
Sydney Opera House is famous today for its roof comprised of “shells” – not shells at all of course, but concrete panels supported by concrete ribs (2,194 pre-cast concrete sections, weighing up to 15 tonnes each!). They are covered by ceramic tiles that create a fantastic pattern beautiful up close and from far away. I was truly impressed by the structure and I haven’t even been to an opera (yet). But then, I am moreoften interested in the structures rather than what goes on inside…