Essay, Research Paper: Sydney Opera House


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There was no true place for performing arts in Australia and this angered many
residents. So Joseph Cahill set up a committee to raise money for an arts
complex. Then, for more funding he established Opera Lotteries. With all the
necessary funds available, the next step was a design. A competition was
organized for the design of the complex. The winner was Jorn Utzon with his
design of a complex with sail shaped roofs. Building began immediately in March
of 1957 on Bennelong Point in Sydney. Many cost overruns and delays and even the
elimination of the angels from the roofs drove Jorn Utzon to resign. The final
cost of the opera house was $107 million dollars. The opera house was completed
in mid 1973 and officially opened on October 20, 1973. The opera house itself is
absolutely marvelous. It has more than one thousand rooms, including five main
auditoriums. The building also has features such as: five rehearsal studios,
four restaurants, six theatre bars, extensive foyer, lounge areas, sixty
dressing rooms and suites, library, artists lounge, administrative offices, and
extensive plant and machinery areas. All these things cause more than two
million people to attend more than three thousand events per year. The opera
house is home to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Ballet, and the
Australian Opera. The largest room in the opera house is the Concert Hall. It
has two hundred and sixty-seven seats. The Concert Hall is used for concerts,
chamber music, opera, choral concerts, pop, jazz concerts, folk concerts,
variety shows, and conventions. It has excellent acoustics with ceilings of
eighty-two feet in height. All the walls in this room are made of woods such as
white birch plywood, hard brown wood, and brush box. The volume of this room is
tremendous at eight hundred and eighty thousand cubic feet. The Concert Hall is
also home to the world’s largest organ. It was built by Ronald Sharp between
1969 and 1979 and has over ten thousand and five hundred pipes. The organ also
has five manual keyboards, one pedal keyboard, eighteen adjustable, acrylic
acoustic rings, and one hundred twenty-seven stops. With all of this, it takes
about two seconds for sound to travel fully everywhere in the room. The next
room is the Opera Theatre with one thousand five hundred and forty-seven seats.
This theatre is used for opera, ballet, and dance. The acoustics of this theatre
are also great with a black ceiling so that audiences will focus more on the
stage and an orchestra pit that holds seventy-five musicians. The Drama Theatre
has over five hundred and forty-four seats. It is used mostly for plays and
lectures. The ceiling in the Drama Theatre is black to keep attention to the
stage, is low in height, and made of refrigerated aluminum panels. The Playhouse
room in the opera house has three hundred and ninety-nine seats. It is mainly
used for small cast plays, lectures, seminars, cinema, and chamber music. The
walls in the Playhouse are paneled with birch plywood. The newest addition to
the opera house is the Studio. It has three hundred and sixty-four seats. This
new addition is used mostly for modern performing arts and “Contemporary”
performing arts. All of these things make the Sydney Opera House world famous
for its music, drama, events, and of course its world renowned design.
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