Opera house tour and tickets quest
I just had a brilliant tour round the opera house — people said this would be a highlight and they weren’t wrong. Fascinating hearing about the design by Utzon, that found itself in the ‘rejected’ pile originally, what an engineering feat it was to realise it, and how he fell out of favour with the Australian government as it overran by many years and went many millions over budget. He acrimoniously left the country before it was completed and never returned to see it completed.
We went into all the different auditoriums, the opera hall being the second largest (1500 capacity ,the concert hall holding 2700 – ish) and actually only a secondary function of the venue; as the tour guide remarked ‘they only called it Sydney Opera House because it sounded better than ‘Sydney multi-functional performing venue'”. My favourite was on the smaller ‘workshop’ rooms… very red. No photos – we weren’t allowed.
We ventured in to the larger auditorium and sat in on a brief rehearsal of the Sydney Symphony — it was so incredible to hear live music again (something about the distance travelled rather than the time that has passed — only 5 days since I myself was singing in Durufle Requiem — that makes one feel separated from the things held dear) I thought to myself “I HAVE to come and see something”.
At the moment, they’ve got Madame Butterfly, Lady MacBeth of Mtsenk (Shostakovich), Travesties (Tom Stoppard), The Alchemist, West End (show songs concert) — so a real mix.
Unfortunately, much is sold out, but there are returns and other options so we’ll see. The other part of the venue’s majesty, witnessed on the tour, is the bar area. Its three walls are floor to ceiling windows at the rear of the concert hall ensuring your interval drinks will give you the best harbour views in all of Sydney.
Jenny and Mai are here now which is excellent fun (I passed on your love, everyone!). We spent the afternoon at Bondi, tempted to do the coastal walk to Coogee but decided against it because we’re doing a 10k walk tomorrow (to/from/around Manly? – I forget, Jenny’s in charge, the old timer!).
It’s St Paddy’s day and this seems to be widely recognised in Sydney — perhaps because there is a large Irish population here, or just as likely that, as in Britain, they just likes a good excuse to get pissed =) We’re going out in King’s Cross (again — I went there the first night I was here… remember…?) to visit a couple of Jenny’s old haunts — a karaoke bar, World Bar, and probably O’Malleys).