Today we take a slight departure and look not at a composer, nor a piece, but a venue. This venue is one of the greatest performing arts venues built in the 20th century. It has become one of the greatest Australian landmarks, and is now listed amongst UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is of course, the Sydney Opera House, which opened on this day in 1973.
An expressionist modernist design situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney, this building is the home venue of the Sydney Symphony, Opera Australia, and the Sydney Theatre Company. The Building has 5 main performance venues, including the 2,679 seat Concert Hall, home of the Sydney Symphony, the 1,507 seat Opera Theatre, home of Opera Australia and the Australian Ballet, the 544 seat drama theatre, 398 seat Playhouse, and and the Studio with a maximum capacity of 400 seats.
The Sydney Opera House was officially opened on the 20th of October 1973 by Queen Elizabeth II. The opening was televised and included a performance of Beethoven’s 9th symphony. Thanks to ABC Classics, I can present you with three excerpts from that opening ceremony. Unfortunately, embedding is disabled, but I do present you with the links.
As for something to watch now, here’s a performance from 2007 by the Choir of Hard Knocks – a group of 50 homeless and disadvantaged men and women who came together to perform together. Here is their 2007 performance at the Sydney Opera House performing the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah.
Have you been to the Sydney Opera House? If so, what did you see there? Let me know in a comment, or write a blog post linking back here, and I’ll add a link below.