Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Sydney Opera House


When my husband and I arrived in Sydney, Australia, last Saturday we were thrilled that his company had arranged for a very comfortable suite for us at the Grand Quay Suites located at 61 Macquarie Street, East Circular Quay, Sydney, NSW. Our room faced a portion of the Royal Botanical Garden and we could see the Sydney Opera House at the end of the peninsula that the hotel was located on.  You can see it over my left shoulder in the lower right photo in the collage above. ( All photos and collages will enlarge if clicked on once and then again when it re-opens)

The weather in Sydney was warm and slightly humid, as we arrived during the last few days of the Southern Hemisphere's summer season.  Unlike the state of Queensland in Australia, Sydney, which is located in the state of New South Wales in Australia, did not suffer any severe flooding during the summer storms. The city is a mix of historical older buildings mixed with ultra modern skyscrapers. It is a beautiful, friendly and cosmopolitan city comprised of over four million people.


A view of the Circular Quay West and the iconic Harbor Bridge and the very active ferry buildings.


A view of the Circular Quay East and Multiple hotels and the Sydney Opera House.


Since my husband and I were so close to the beautiful opera house we walked down the East Circular Quay Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbor, to see more of the magnificent buildings. As one of the busiest performing arts centers in the world, hosting over 1,500 performances each year attended by some 1.2 million people, the Sydney Opera House provides a venue for many performing arts companies including the four key resident companies Opera Australia,The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.  It also houses a restaurant called Bennelong Restaurant. It is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, with more than seven million people visiting the site each year!


The Sydney Opera House officially opened in October 1973, and was conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, who received the Pritzker Prize, architecture's highest honor, in 2003. In 1956 Utzon won an international competition for the design of an opera house for Sydney which attracted more than 200 entries from around the world. In 1966, Utzon was forced to resign as chief architect over constant pressure by the government about cost overruns and the length of construction. He left Australia and never returned to see the building's completion. According to the Sydney Opera House web site: "Utzon’s son Jan took his place in the Colonnade opening ceremony, saying his father "is too old by now to take the long flight to Australia. But he lives and breathes the Opera House, and as its creator he just has to close his eyes to see it."

Views of the Sydney Opera House from a ferry in Sydney Harbor.

video

A short video of the ferry passing the opera house


One million Swedish ceramic tiles form the seamed pattern covering the distinctive projections that appear like sails of a ship upon the harbor. The titles reflect light, making the opera house glow and change color with the time of day and the weather, and the projected lights at night. As you can imagine, I was quite enthralled by the opera house and took many photos of it. I would have liked to have attended an opera, but unfortunately the opera season did not begin until after we departed, in the middle of March.


The structures were formally recognized as one of the "most outstanding places on Earth" with its inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List on June 28 2007.


There are tours available to view the inside of the buildings, but unfortunately no photography is allowed inside the buildings.  You can view some photos of the interior on the official website.

The Sydney Opera House illuminated at night.

The Sydney Opera House was truly one of the most magnificent structures we saw during our visit to Sydney, Australia, and I was thrilled to have visited it.

The next day my husband had to report to work and I had a day of sightseeing on the "Hop On, Hop Off, Tour Bus." Come along on the next post and take a ride with me!



I'm linking with the "Outdoor Wednesday" event at Susan's blog A Southern Daydreamer.


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56 comments:

Donnie said...

What a wonderful trip you had and I know you will have plenty of fabulous photos to share. These were great.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Pat, the architecture of that Opera House is incredible. It is iconic Sydney. I love your photos. Thanks for sharing with us homebodies! ;)

Kris said...

Fabulous...just fabulous!!!

Linda said...

What a fantastic building and a creative architect. How wonderful that you got a chance to see it in person.

Vee said...

I've never seen it better photographed, Pat. You almost make me change my mind about it. (Yes, I am one of those to whom the Opera House just looks odd.) What nice accomodations you enjoyed and such a beautiful harbor. It's too bad that you weren't able to see an opera while you were there. I know it would've been a highlight for you. Guess that you're just going to have to return one day!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

The Sydney Opera House is a beautiful building. How lucky you were to see it in person. Looking forward to your next post.

Maria M. Boyer said...

Beautiful, Pat. Thank you for sharing. Sydney is definitely on my bucket list!

Grace said...

Oh what gorgeous pictures! You always put your heart in all your posts. Thank you for sharing I can not wait to see more! Grace xoox

nanny said...

I love your pictures....I think I would make many of the opera house....it is so beautiful...can't wait for the tour....

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Great pics, looks like you had a fun trip:@)

podso said...

Wonderful photos and collage! Thanks for sharing them with us!

Ginny said...

Your last photo is amazing!! They all are, they look like out of a travel magazine. The story of the making of the opera house is so interesting. I didn't know about the tiles and the colors. You took the tour? I cannot WAIT to see what you will show next!!!!

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

It must have been so wonderful to be there! Your pictures are stunning!
Hugs,
Penny

Theanne and Baron said...

Enjoyed your Opera House photos and video. Extraordinary architecture...forceful, dynamic! It would be grand to hear an opera there. Thanks for the tour and your excellent photos Pat.

pam said...

It is quite an astounding building. You're still the best tour guide....looking forward to hopping on and off. :o)

Barbara F. said...

Wonderful photos and the weather looks great. Love your hotel suite. Does a couch potato like me some good (and maybe will give me some inspiration!). xo,

Lisa@GrandmasBriefs said...

Wow! I had no idea Sydney had four million residents!

The Opera House is truly amazing. Incredible photos. I especially love the one of it illuminated at night. Lovely.

Carol said...

Super pictures, pat, they ought to be in a travel magazine! What a trip!

RNSANE said...

It's been 17 years now since I spent two glorious days and nights in Sydney prior to a 12 day cruise which ended up with a two night stay in Auckland, New Zealand. It was one of the most wonderful trips of my life. I, too, stayed at a lovely hotel ( I think it was a Renaissance ) at the Quay and, both evenings, I had dinner at the Quay, looking out at the Opera House, pinching myself in disbelief that I was really there. Sailing past it on a cruise ship was so exciting!
I also drank a lot of wonderful wines on that trip! I will certainly enjoy all your pictures as I have delighted in these views of that beautiful Opera House!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

I love the architecture of the Sydney Opera house! How lucky are you to be in Australia! How jealous am I! LOL! Have a great time, can't wait to see your next post!

Mary

diane b said...

It is one great building and your photos make it look even better. My youngest daughter (the one in LA) used to be a production manager at the opera house. Her office was behind the glass on the bottom level facing the ferry you were on. She took us on a personal tour inside it was fascinating. During the Sydney light festival they have different coloured patterns all over the roof at night. I knew your camera and tour guide talents would be working overtime there.

Houseelf said...

What a wonderful location for exploring Sydney. Some beautiful photos- I can almost feel the sunshine. When buildings can be as beautiful as the Opera House you wonder how so many ugly buildings get planning approval. Good buildings attract people and therefore trade.

Aww you'd've thought as they knew you were coming they'd've started the opera just a little earlier. LOL

Ola said...

You were lucky to see this extraordinary builidng! It looks so pretty illuminated

Sheila said...

Pat, once again your photographs are spectacular. I don't think I've ever seen close up pictures of the Opera House before and walking with you and your camera gives an amazing perspective. If I'd ever heard the story of the architect, I'd forgotten so it was fascinating to read the story. Thanks so much!

wilbo43 said...

Wow Pat, these are fabulous shots of a beautiful building. Actually I used to call it 'Sonya's Workshop'. Our daughter Sonya was a Production Manager at the Sydney Opera House before she got married and now moved to L.A. Sydney is a great place to visit. I hope we'll see you in N.Y. in June.
Ten out of ten for your photos.

Grandmother said...

What a spectacular place and how wonderful that so many people attend it's pereformances. Travel to such amazing venues is so enriching. Good for you.

Gracie said...

I will for sure join the wagon tomorrow!
P.S. in Conpenaghen some years ago, I saw a very big replica of the Opera House all made from amber, it was stunning!

Catherine said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing. What a fantastic trip!

Jo said...

Pat, I'm blown away once again,what an amazing trip,thanks so much for sharing, I am too jealous, I LOVE NYC, but It is my desire to go to Australia!
~JO
LazyonLoblolly

Tracy said...

It IS an architectural WONDER! So very glad you had this special trip, Pat...Your photos take us there! And I could move into that suite! ;o) Can't wait for more of the tour! Happy Day ((HUGS))

Maggie said...

What stunning shots of Sydney and the Opera House. They took me back to times we've spent there, visiting family and seeing the wonderful sights.
I remember one particular night there when we watched the most spectacular firework display that I have ever seen.
Happy Outdoor Wednesday from Normandy.

merrilymarylee said...

Please tell me there will be a post--or a dozen posts!--of the Royal Botanical Garden!!!

Farmchick said...

Thank you for sharing your information about this trip. Sounds so exciting! This is such a fantastic structure and I love how it looks at night.

H said...

Sydney is a city which I would love to visit someday! The Opera House would be high on my list of places to visit.

Beverly said...

How wonderful that you were able to make this trip. It is definitely on my list of place I hope to visit.

Thank you for taking us along. You are always the best.♥

Old Kitty said...

Oh Pat the Sydney Opera House is lovely!! It's one of these iconic architectural images that almost everyone is familiar with but actually see it for real..!! WOW!! I love the clip you took from the harbour - beautiful!! And what a history too - Mr Utzon was a true artist - passionate, original and what a visionary!!

Awww I love your hotel suite too - very nice!!!!! And you look absolutely lovely!!! :-)

Thanks for the amazing info and gorgeous pics as always!! Take care
x

Claudia said...

This is a country and a site I have always wanted to see. You have lit a spark under me! The photos make me wax poetical. Wishing you could have seen an opera! How sad though that Utzon never say his amazing building. Love the apartment and you look great!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Wow, what a view! Lovely apartment, too.

Yvette said...

Wow. It appears that Australia was just 'made' for your camera's eye, Pat. :)

Can't wait to see what you're going to show us next!

Oliag said...

Did they know that you two were opera lovers?! I have seen a special on PBS about the making of the Sydney Opera house that was extremely interesting...how much better to go there and see it for your self!!

Beth said...

Your photos are just beautiful, Pat. Looks like you had a fabulous time!
Blessings, Beth

KarenHarveyCox said...

Oh I just love Sydney. I went there with my husband when we lived in Asia. The plane ride was a bit more doable.

That view is wonderful, and it looks like you chose a lovely time of year to be there. I love that seafood restaurant that overlooks that scene.

I wanted to live there when we were in Asia. I put koala bears all over our flat in Hong Kong and lit candles. Didn't work, sigh. I hope that we can get back again soon.

I hope you have a fabulous time, but of course you will. YOU'RE IN SYDNEY!

Karen

P.S. St. Mary's Church is gorgeous.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Wow! what a traveling girl you are.
I am loving your photos :-)

Glenda/MidSouth said...

What a wonderful trip!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Proud Italian Cook said...

I'm hoping along with you, can't wait to see more Pat! Beautiful photo's of such an amazing structure!

J Bar said...

Marvellous shots of Circular Quay and the Opera House. Thanks for commenting on my blog. I'm glad you liked my photos of the coloured light show on the Opera House sails.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Pondside said...

That's a fabulous view you had! I'd have enjoyed the ferry ride in the harbour - always the best way to see a harbour city.

Ann said...

You didn't go on the entourage of Oprah? or did you go a the success of her trip?

Fantastic photos.

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

WOW!!!! You sure get around, Pat! What beautiful shots!!!!!

Kat said...

I love your photos of the Opera House. Such a beautiful structure! I really liked your video of the ferry ride. Your accommodations look lovely, and what a great location. Can't wait to see more of your visit to this beautiful city. I would love to see Australia, but the thought of a 20 hour plane trip gives me the chills. Kat

Donna said...

Wow, the Opera House is unbelievable! Fantastic photos, Pat. What a wonderful trip.

Hugs,
Donna

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Wonderful tour of the Opera House...and most informative. I gather it was 'many years in the making'...but an amazing and easily recognizable building it is!

I love those 'hop-on hop-off' tours...and look forward to your next post.

Lovella ♥ said...

Pat. ..it is so amazing how we instantly recognize structures around the world for their unique construction designs. I loved your suite. The floor itself was a beatuiful design. It makes me wonder if some people just lie awake at night thinking.

Shellbelle said...

Oh Pat, what a wonderful place to visit! I have always loved the Sydney Opera House. You're right, it does look like sails; sails that have just picked up a wonderful breeze off the ocean and is ready to set sail and see the world. It is as recognizable as the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty.

I would love to visit Australia and hang out with two of my favorite blogging friends who live there.

I looked back at your last post and that little boy dancing to the didgeridoo was hysterical, he was really getting the groove going!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'm enjoying all of your travel photos! I'm glad you included one of yourself! It's nice to see you enjoying this amazing view! ♥

La said...

One of the most recognizable examples of architecture in the world. What a thrill it must have been to see it in person.