CITY

Five fun facts you may not know about the Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House represents one of the most significant pieces of architecture built in the 20th century and such that it is, to all intents and purposes, an icon not only for the city of Sydney, where it stands, but for Australia itself. 

Located in Sydney Bay, it attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. The acoustics inside the building, despite the beauty of the construction itself, has often been criticised to the point of even requiring the work to be moved to a new, more suitable location.

Visually, however, thanks also to the play of light and colour that can often be admired on its exterior walls, it remains a masterpiece full of curiosity and history, especially about its construction.

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Five little-known facts about the Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House represents one of the most significant pieces of architecture built in the 20th century and such that it is, to all intents and purposes, an icon not only for the city of Sydney, where it stands, but for Australia itself. Located in Sydney Bay, it attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. The acoustics inside the building, despite the beauty of the construction itself, has often been criticised to the point of even requiring the work to be moved to a new, more suitable location. Visually, however, thanks also to the play of light and colour that can often be admired on its exterior walls, it remains a masterpiece full of curiosity and history, especially about its construction.
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Criticism of acoustics
The acoustics of the venue, and especially that of the opera house, have often been criticised for poor ground quality. Even today, requests continue to come in for a refurbishment of the space, for a restyling that would like to move the opera house to the larger and more acoustically suitable concert hall, resulting in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra moving to a new hall.
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The internal temperature is regulated...by the bay
The temperature inside the facility is kept stable through the use of water from the bay. In fact, the water is pumped through 35km of pipes and the circulation is sufficient to provide energy to maintain the building's heating and air conditioning.
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The first performance is not what you would think
The first performance was not that of Sergei Prokofiev's Voïna i mir (War and Peace) on 28 September 1973 (it was not officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II until 20 October 1973). Instead, it was Paul Robeson who was the first person to perform at the Opera House when, in 1960, he climbed up the scaffolding and sang Ol' Man River to workers on their lunch break.
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The inspiration for the spherical shells of the exterior
Although most people believe that architect Jørn Utzon, the author of the design, took inspiration from the sails of Australian boats passing through the bay, the reality is much more disappointing. In fact, it seems that he simply drew inspiration from orange slices for the design of the theatre.
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A more than tenfold increase in budget for the project
Initially, seven million dollars were allocated for the construction of the Opera House. In the end, in 1973, when the project was completed, the money spent on the entire construction amounted to 102 million dollars (at today's exchange rate it would be about 900 million). This was due to the construction difficulties of the mammoth building, which took 14 years to complete instead of the planned four, and no less than 10,000 workers.
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24/04/2024
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