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8.25.2006 - 34 comments 

I have stated before that I would much rather post pictures I have taken of NATURAL THINGS on my blog rather that manmade things, but some things are just too pretty to not pay attention to. This for me is one of those posts. But as most of you may have noticed, this is one of the thumbnails I have at the top of my blog. I also have it full size on the wallpaper of my work PC.

The Opera House is lit up each night, but this particular night, there was a Football game being played there called "State Of Origin". This is kind of like the Superbowl playoffs here in the states. The players have to have been born in the Australian state in which they are playing for. We Americans would call this game Rugby, but it is called "football" there. They even have their own NFL. But is is one of the biggest sporting events that is played there. This night the "Maroons" (from the state of Queenlands) were playing the "Blues" of New South Wales. In recognition of that playoff game, they lit it up in blue. As we were crusing down the river from the west and all of a sudden you could see the lights of the city in the Circular Quay area of the city and then shortly after I saw the Opera house only tonight it was lit in blue.

It is one of the most distinctive and famous 20th century buildings, and one of the most famous performing arts venues in the world. Situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, with parkland to its south and close to the enormous Sydney Harbour Bridge, the building and its surroundings form an iconic Australian image. To some, the spherical-sectioned shells are reminiscent of the flotilla of sailboats commonly cruising there. It is a major tourist attraction even though most visitors have little interest in attending in performances.

As well as many touring theatre, ballet, and musical productions, the Opera House is the home of Opera Australia, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. It is administered by the Opera House Trust, under the New South Wales Ministry of the Arts.
The Opera House covers 1.8 hectares (4.5 acres) of land. It is 183 metres (600 feet) long and about 120 metres (388 feet) wide at its widest point. It is supported on 580 concrete piers sunk up to 25 metres below sea level. Its power supply is equivalent for a town of 25,000 people. The power is distributed by 645 kilometres of electrical cable.

The Sydney Opera House, Originally designed by the Danish Architect Joern Utzon, is meant to look like a giant sailing ship. The roofs of the House are constructed of 1,056,000 glazed white granite tiles, imported from Sweden. Despite their self-cleaning nature, they are still subject to periodic maintenance and replacement.

The Sydney Opera House contains five theatres, five rehearsal studios, two main halls, four restaurants, six bars and numerous souvenir shops. The building's interior is composed of pink granite mined from Tarana, NSW and wood and brush box plywood supplied from northern NSW.

The theatres are in a series of large shells, conceived by dissecting a hemisphere. The Concert Hall and Opera Theatre are each contained in the two largest groups of shells, and the other theatres are located on the sides of the shell groupings. A much smaller group of shells set to one side of the Monumental steps and houses the Bennelong Restaurant.

The Opera House was formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II on October 20, 1973, which crowds of millions attended. The opening was televised and included fireworks and a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.Prior to the opening, two performances had already taken place in the finished building. On September 28, 1973, a performance of Sergei Prokofiev's War and Peace was played at the Opera Theatre. On September 29, the first public concert in the Concert Hall took place. It was performed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Charles Mackerras and with accompanying singer Birgit Nilsson.

During the construction of the Opera House, a number of lunchtime performances were arranged for the workers, with Paul Robeson the first artist to perform at the (unfinished) Opera House in 1960.

By the way, in case you wondered, that particular night they (The Blues) won the game (but in the end, they lost the championship). Well it makes for a nice story just the same.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain Posted by Picasa