It is heard quite often that friends and family who have travelled to Sydney, Australia have been to the famous harbour to travel over the Harbour Bridge and to gaze upon the grand Opera House. Not one traveller returns home without capturing even one snapshot of the two iconic landmarks of Australia’s capital city. But if you are planning a trip to that spectacular city, don’t just stop at taking a picture of the Opera House from the outside. Venture indoors and take a VIP backstage tour of the celebrated performing arts centre. Discover the history that lies within and that keep those magical sails full and thriving!
Would you believe that the design concept for the remarkable Opera House that today stands as a symbol of Australia and is the pride of all Australians was originally tossed to the wayside and rejected as a choice when city officials were looking for plans for a performing arts centre? Jorn Utzon, a young and unknown Dane architect, submitted his entry to an international competition initiated by the New South Wales Premier Joe Cahill, in 1956, who was seeking ideas for a future opera house. It is said that Utzon’s concept was saved when a renowned American architect joined the judging committee and sifted through the plans the initial three judges had already rejected. Construction began in 1959 and concluded in 1973. It was not without its quarrels and controversies but despite it all, the only thing that commands attention now is the masterpiece that is Utzon’s vision and legacy.
In 2007, the splendour of the Opera House was recognized and included on the UNESCO World Heritage list as one of the most outstanding places on Earth, and shares that label with other worldly treasures as the Great Wall of China, the Egyptian Pyramids and the Great Barrier Reef.
Take a short one-hour tour and discover the two main performance halls, find out how many of the 1000 rooms you will get to see as you walk down some of the 300 corridors. The tour is offered in a range of languages: English, French, German and a number of Asian languages including Chinese and Korean. The ticket prices range from $20 to $35 and a family option at $90. Tours are scheduled daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The Opera House is one of the most popular attractions so it is recommended that you book your tour in advance to ensure that you don’t miss out on your opportunity to visit.
Take the VIP Backstage tour and walk the corridors that only the performers know of. You may find yourself in the orchestra pit or possibly exploring the dressing rooms. This tour is a two-hour walk- through that includes climbing at least 300 steps so sensible flat shoes are recommended. Tours takes place daily at 7 a.m. and is limited to a maximum of 10 people so advanced booking is highly recommended. For ticket information, other limitations and tour details refer to the Sydney Opera House official website at http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/homepage.aspx.
As we count the days down to New Year’s 2013, the Opera House is getting ready to celebrate along! Welcome the New Year in extravagance by the beauty of the Sydney Harbour, with drinks and canapés, or a delicious eight-course meal, with fireworks and an orchestra playing, or join the Opera Bar for its Beach Party complete with DJ spinning up summer beats and a dance floor beneath your feet as you dance your way into the New Year! Find out more about the New Year’s Eve events at the Opera House on the website.
Welcome 2013 under a summer sun from down under!