The architectural beauty of the Sydney Opera House is just one of the distinguishing characteristics that make it one of the main attractions, not only in Sydney, but in any country of the world. The building also has a cultural significance to the country. It is not just a tourist attraction that visitors come to admire and take photos of, but it is a working building. Operas are performed here, but so are other full-scale performances. The complex is huge with five major spaces for performances of all kinds.
The Concert Hall is a must-see when you visit the Sydney Opera House. This vast hall can seat 2690 people and the acoustics is amazing. You won’t have any difficulty hearing any of the sounds from the stage no matter where you are seated. This is the performance hall where you can take in chamber music, operas, symphonies, and dance and choral presentations. The other four performance venues are smaller, but still large: Opera Theatre can seat 1547; the Drama Theatre can seat 544; the Playhouse has seating for 398 and the Boardwalk seats 300.
The Sydney Opera House has an interesting history. The money for the construction came from a lottery arranged by the government of New South Wales. The project was not one with which the people agreed with because as it was being built, they felt it was an ugly building and called it a monstrosity. As a result compromises were made to the design of the interior and the cost was much higher than anticipated. The projected cost at the outset was to be $7 million, but the final tally showed that it actually cost $102 million.
The reception hall is very impressive and welcoming to all who enter through the doors. The centerpiece is a stunning tapestry that hangs from the ceiling to the floor. The foyers of the Playhouse, the Drama Theatre and the Studio open into a colonnade that has an exquisite view of Sydney Harbour.
Guided tours of Sydney Opera House are available every day between 9 in the morning and 5 in the evening. Each tour takes about an hour to complete and takes the participants into the main theaters and around the foyers. When there are practices or performances taking place, certain rooms or halls may be off-limits. In order to take in a tour, you do need to make reservations. The size of the tour group is limited to a specific number of people and you must be able to climb stairs because you will climb about 200 stairs on the tour. However, tours for those with disabilities can be arranged.