A Night at the Opera without the Marx Brothers — Sydney Opera House


Jutting out onto Bennelong Point

Jutting out onto Bennelong Point

Today we begin our look at Sydney, Australia, with one of Sydney’s most recognizable landmarks — the Sydney Opera House.  I’m sure you recognize this iconic structure, but you may not know the protracted and often bitter struggle behind the façade.  The Sydney Opera House was under construction for over 14½ years and cost nearly 14.6 times the original budget.  That’s almost 11 years beyond the projected completion date and, in today’s currencies, the cost works out to nearly A$900 million/$790 million U.S.

Sydney Opera House up close

Sydney Opera House up close

For that money the people of Sydney got a Concert Hall, an Opera Theatre, a Drama Theatre, a Playhouse, a Sound Studio for contemporary music, a Recording Studio, the Utzon Room (a party and function venue for rent; named after the designer of the Opera House, Danish architect Jørn Utzon), and the enormous open-air venue known as the Sydney Opera House Forecourt.

Outdoor vendors at the Forecourt

Outdoor vendors at the Forecourt

Most of the cost and construction time overruns can be attributed to the complexity of the enormous shells that roof the structure.  It wasn’t until two years into the construction project that Mr. Utzon finally figured out how to engineer them.  In the end, Mr. Utzon scrapped his original elliptical roof design and went with what basically amounts to fourteen shells that, if pieced together, would form a sphere.

Shells made for segments of a sphere

Shells made for segments of a sphere

So, let’s take a look at the rest of today’s gallery:

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3 Comments

Filed under Photography, R. Doug Wicker, travel

3 responses to “A Night at the Opera without the Marx Brothers — Sydney Opera House

  1. Pingback: From Sydney to Seattle - WaltherForums

  2. andrejute

    You’ve caught the Sydney Opera House well, Doug: a gaggle of nuns sacking a quarterback!

    When I lived in Sydney, I went to work up Pitt Street (behind your back as you took some of these shots) by speedboat from the headland suburb of Vaucluse, parking the speedboat just around the corner of one of your photos. Oh, memories!

    • Pitt Street approaching Circular Quay at its southwest corner? At the Number 6 Jetty? I just looked it up. A great place to work, I’m sure.

      Thanks for dropping by, André.