Included in our trip was a tour of the Sydney Opera House. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect on the hour-long tour, and how it would be possible to cover the entire building in just an hour. Well, we didn’t get to see the entire building, but did see all of the “highlights.” The tour mostly covered the history and architectural details of the Opera House, along with visits to a few of the theaters. Photography isn’t allowed inside any of the theaters, but we were able to snap photos outside and in the reception areas. Getting up close to the Opera House and walking around the outside of it is when you realize that it’s not white like how it looks in most photographs. Turns out, it’s actually more of an ivory (maybe almost a pale yellow), and between the type of tiles and the way they’re patterned, the reflection causes the opera house to look more on the white side.
The tour starts with an introduction of the Opera House, along with a video about the competition to design the Opera House. Throughout the tour we visited the grand Concert Hall, the Joan Sutherland Theater, the Drama Theater, and the Playhouse theater. We also learned that it took 15 years to build the Opera House, and that the architect that designed it never saw the finished building. Jorn Utzon, the Danish architect who won the design competition, resigned midway through the project after much criticism, pressure, going over budget and a change in the government. Eventually he fell too ill to make the trip from Denmark back to Australia to see the completed building. You can read more about the history of the building here.
Everything inside of the building is done in such a grand, over-the-top way. From the staircases to the theaters to the bathrooms, it really is a work of art. And yes, I really did take a picture of the bathroom sinks. Other than upgrades to the theater’s technology, the building remains in its original state. It was designed and constructed to last a couple hundred years.
The Opera House is right next to the Royal Botanical Gardens, which we would have walked through if we hadn’t already decided on catching the ferry to Manly. We did hang around after the tour long enough to take a few more photos and soak up the views. It was our 1-year wedding anniversary after all. :)