Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney. Located on the banks of the Sydney Harbour, it is often regarded as one of the world's most famous and distinctive buildings and a masterpiece of 20th century architecture.[3][4]

Sydney Opera House
View from the west
Location in Sydney
Location in New South Wales
Location in Australia
General information
StatusComplete
TypePerforming arts centre
Architectural styleExpressionist
LocationBennelong Point, Sydney
CountryAustralia
Coordinates33°51′31″S 151°12′51″E
Elevation4 m (13 ft)
Current tenants
Groundbreaking1 March 1959; 62 years ago (1959-03-01)
Construction started1 March 1959; 62 years ago (1959-03-01)
Completed1973; 48 years ago (1973)
Opened20 October 1973; 48 years ago (1973-10-20)
Inaugurated20 October 1973; 48 years ago (1973-10-20)
CostA$102 million, equivalent to A$962 million in 2018[1]
ClientNSW government
OwnerNSW Government
Height65 m (213 ft)
Dimensions
Other dimensions
  • length 183 m (600 ft)
  • width 120 m (394 ft)
  • area 1.8 ha (4.4 acres)
Technical details
Structural systemConcrete frame & precast concrete ribbed roof
Design and construction
ArchitectJørn Utzon
Structural engineerOve Arup & Partners
Main contractorCivil & Civic (level 1), M.R. Hornibrook (level 2 and 3 and interiors)
Other information
Seating capacity
  • Concert Hall 2,679
  • Joan Sutherland Theatre 1,507
  • Drama Theatre 544
  • Playhouse 398
  • The Studio 400
  • Utzon Room 210
  • Total 5,738
Website
sydneyoperahouse.com
TypeCultural
Criteriai
Designated2007 (31st session)
Reference no.166rev
State PartyAustralia
RegionOceania
TypeHistoric
Criteriaa, b, e, f, g, h
Designated12 July 2005; 16 years ago (2005-07-12)
Reference no.105738
TypeBuilt
Criteriaa, b, c, d, e, f, g
Designated3 December 2003; 17 years ago (2003-12-03)
Reference no.01685
References
Coordinates[2]

Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, but completed by an Australian architectural team headed by Peter Hall, the building was formally opened on 20 October 1973[5] after a gestation beginning with Utzon's 1957 selection as winner of an international design competition. The Government of New South Wales, led by the premier, Joseph Cahill, authorised work to begin in 1958 with Utzon directing construction. The government's decision to build Utzon's design is often overshadowed by circumstances that followed, including cost and scheduling overruns as well as the architect's ultimate resignation.[6]

The building and its surrounds occupy the whole of Bennelong Point on Sydney Harbour, between Sydney Cove and Farm Cove, adjacent to the Sydney central business district and the Royal Botanic Gardens, and close by the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The building comprises multiple performance venues, which together host well over 1,500 performances annually, attended by more than 1.2 million people.[7] Performances are presented by numerous performing artists, including three resident companies: Opera Australia, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. As one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, the site is visited by more than eight million people annually, and approximately 350,000 visitors take a guided tour of the building each year.[8] The building is managed by the Sydney Opera House Trust, an agency of the New South Wales State Government.

On 28 June 2007, the Sydney Opera House became a UNESCO World Heritage Site,[9] having been listed on the (now defunct) Register of the National Estate since 1980, the National Trust of Australia register since 1983, the City of Sydney Heritage Inventory since 2000, the New South Wales State Heritage Register since 2003, and the Australian National Heritage List since 2005.[10][11] Furthermore, the Opera House was a finalist in the New7Wonders of the World campaign list.[12][13]


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