It was the month of January, the first month of the year 2016, when a friend from Auckland was visiting. At this point I had been in Sydney just about two months and hadn’t really done anything touristy. I mean yes I had been to Sydney as a tourist before and blogged all about it here (link to blog) but there’s always more to explore! I had asked her what were the things she wanted to do and one of the items on her checklist was to do the Opera House tour.
On a scorching Sunday afternoon, after visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens and doing the Choo Choo train tour we made our way to the doors of The Sydney Opera House, a beautiful creation by Danish architect Jan Utzon. Nicely hidden amongst the array of stairs, it can be a bit hard to spot. Nevertheless once we did find it, we made our way to the ticket counter and purchased the next tour’s tickets, which costs only $36 for an adult. I had previously anticipated that it would cost a lot more than that.
The tour begins, and the vast knowledge about this magnificent structure is imparted on us. Of course, on a nice bright sunny day, the views of the harbour are just breath taking. We are first taken to a balcony, which is two flights of stairs up. First you get to see the beautiful harbour view of the Pacific and of course the Harbour Bridge and much more. But you know what else? Look up to the glass on the sails and you see a reflection of the view in front of you.
As this was a relatively quiet time with not a lot of productions going on, we were able to get a glimpse of some of the theatres. We saw a total of two halls – the Concert Hall and the Joan Sutherland theatre. Following this we also got to see what is now known as Utzon Room. The Concert Hall is where all the live Operas take place. It is a hall set up for such performances as the acoustics is so important. Having stopped learning music a long time ago, it is actually rather difficult to put into words what I mean. The Joan Sutherland theatre on the other hand is set up for performances where there are a number of songs being performed, such as the show we went to, The Greatest Hits. This theatre is named after Joan Sutherland who was one of the most cherished Australian Opera singers, resident to Sydney. In fact she still is the most cherished. After her death in 2010, in honour of her memory, this theatre was named after her.
The Utzon Room as the name suggests is named after the architect Jan Utzon. He was the architect who had submitted the winning design for The Sydney Opera House. This hall had very recently undergone changes (there’s a back story to that), which was overseen by him and his son. I don’t want to write a lot in this blog, but rather encourage you to do this tour when you’re here in Sydney. This tour is available in various languages. Usually when I do tours such as this, I often lose interest half way through or sometimes I don’t pay attention to begin with. However, I cannot say the same for this tour. This is one brilliant tour and I highly recommend you do it! I was so inspired and blown away by this tour that immediately as this tour ended my friends and I went and purchased tickets to an Opera performance, called The Greatest Hits. This was the first time (but definitely not the last time) I have watched an Opera.
Until next time,