Where two next?

Antipodean travelogue through the eyes of two - one textile and one building lover. It'll be hard to differentiate the two!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Sydney Opera House (Day 14) Part 1

If the "Australia balloon" pic in a previous post epitomised our travels up North, then perhaps the following pic, with the Australia flag billowing in the foreground of the Sydney Opera House, sums up our time in the state of New South Wales.

We decided to start our second day with a tour of the Opera House. They recommend that you go on one of the earlier tours as later on in the day rehearsals can make parts of the tour off limits. We had been thinking about going to see a concert but the evening shows were booked out and our days were already full. They have a show every night in the Opera House which make it one of the busiest Opera Houses in the world. The name is a bit of a misnoma in that all types of plays, musicals, classical concerts and operas are held in the venue. Here's a few more pics from the tour of the interior.

While we were on our tour the main theatre was being used for a rehearsal of Brahms Symphonies 1 & 3, the concert we had hoped to catch one evening. Luckily the tour was allowed into the theatre and we listened to the conductor asking a section of the orchestra to repeat a piece of music over and over again until he was satisfied with the outcome. Only then would he move on. It whet our appetite to the point, that once the tour was finished, we went and bought two tickets to an afternoon showing.
During the construction of the Opera House there was a change in government and the original architect Jorn Utzon eventually resigned the commission in frustration. Utzon was never to return to the Opera House and has therefore never seen it completed first hand. The interior was therefore finished by another architect. It was a real pity that this happened and now, many years later Utzon, at 80 years of age, is back working on the Opera House, his son carrying out his father's instruction's on site. Utzon senior still determined not to set foot in the place.
In college we didn't study this building or the likes of the Taj Mahal. In Architectural circles they seem to have less significance. Perhaps they are too obvious, I don't actually know why. I liked the building but cannot say that it meant any more to me than that, I wasn't bowled over, or reduced to silence. (Again Sharon has reminded me that that would be a feat in itself!) Perhaps I'll return to it on a later date but for now the answers are not forthcoming. Needless to say it is a remarkable achievement nonetheless and one which quite rightly won him the Pritzker Prize.
That was our morning on Day 14, after lunch we headed off to the Zoo, but more on that later. The following pics are of one of the few rooms that Utzon has completed the interior of since being recommissioned.

The mural on the wall above is an original work by him and the pic below is of his signature. I thought it more appropriate that he might sign off this post.

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