Collection by Miyoko Ohtake

Sydney's Surprising Opera House

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The Sydney Opera House is more amazing—and surprising—in person than any photo could convey. Earlier this month, I headed to the Southern Hemisphere for a vacation in Sydney and Cairns, Australia. The Opera House was, of course, on my list of places to see (though its location on Bennelong Point, which juts out into Sydney Harbor, makes it near impossible to miss).

Not only is the building incredible but so is its story.
Unlike most of the submitted designs, which were box-shape and positioned the two requisite halls (one for symphony...
The design was nearly scraped when finally, in 1961, Utzon came up with his "key to the shells" spherical solution for...
On an evening ferry back from Manly Beach, I took this photo of the western facade of the Sydney Opera House (the...
The most surprising things to me were that the sails are (1) not pure white, as many photos depict them, and (2) are...
The morning after our day at Manly Beach, we took The Essential Tour, a one-hour guided tour of the Opera House during...
The tour took us first to the three small stages on the western side of the building: the Drama Theater (which seats...
The colors and light in this intermission space were breathtaking.
Another part of the intermission space in the Concert Hall overlooks Sydney Cove and Circular Quay, the busy ferry port...
For me, another surprise was how cathedral-like the building is. When you see photos, you almost always notice the...
This photo shows the view from the Concert Hall foyer toward the Opera Hall through the glass windows.
Although nearly all of the spaces were structurally altered in one way or another when Hall, Todd, Littlemore, and...
The Opera House was finally completed in 1973 at the cost of $102 million (which today would be nearly half a billion...
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