So we had a lovely complimentary breakfast. Amazing sausages, bacon and eggs for me, and pancakes and maple syrup for my lovely wife â€“ Another blend of old and new world. After this we set off for the Opera House.
The Opera house was finished in 1973 â€“ only without its designer. He had quit in disgust with the Australianâ€™s government interference in the project a few years earlier. In fact Jorn Utzon has never even seen the completed building â€“ he is still alive, albeit rather old, and living in his native Denmark. He was recontracted by the Opera House in 1997 to â€œfinishâ€ his masterpiece. The interior of the opera house was designed by an Australian architect, and as part of a renovation effort, Utzon has been brought back to realize his dream of finishing the Opera House. Good choice if you ask me, because the outside really is spectacular, but the inside is a little strangeâ€¦
The tour we took of the Opera House was very well done. What I did not realize was that there are actually 5 theatres or auditoriums in the complex. The two large ones covered by the sails or semi-circles that are so recognizable, and then there are 3 smaller auditoriums sunk underneath the main structure. The tour took us into the main structures, and behind the scenes. It was well worth it, and I was told an immense amount of fascinating information about the design and construction of the building. We were not allowed to video tape anywhere inside the buildings, and no photographs were allowed in the auditoriums as there were artists / ballet dancers / musicians rehearsing in these rooms when we were being guided through. Apparently flash photography is against their religion or somethingâ€¦
Interestingly, the Opera House is playing host to the Australian Idol final this weekend, so there was plenty of preperation for that going on.