Sydney Opera House Facts and Figures


Sydney opera by kevgibbo/Flickr

If there is one image at the sight of which almost every person around the world would say ‘Australia’ without hesitation, that is for sure the image of Sydney Opera House. With a very original design, the building of the opera house has been a true landmark for Australia’s biggest city for almost 40 years now. But what is so special about this building that makes it so famous and so appreaciated all over the world? The following Sydney Opera House facts and figures guide might give you some answers to this question:

An unusual design

The most striking thing about the Opera in Sydney is its unusual design. Seen from the distance, the white building seems to be a ship with all the sails in the wind which dominates the Sydney Harbour. This original design represents the work of Danish architect Jørn Utzon, whose ambitious project was selected by the local council of Sydney in 1956. The shells that make up the roof are far from sails in the wind though – their construction at that time required several attempts, so that the opera was only inaugurated in 1973 – a total of 17 years! Also, the shells of the roof each weight around 15 tons, are made of pre-cast concrete and are covered in white glazed tiles.

Significant numbers

Sydney Opera close view ©jimmyharris/Flickr

It is important to remember that, before gaining its legendary aura, the building of the opera was designed as an ‘opera’. This explains why over 2 million people attend its representations, exhibits and other cultural events each year, while the number of visitor taking a simple tour of Sydney Opera House is around a couple of hundred thousand.

A big, big building

You mustn’t think that all that work and effort was put into building just a large hall for concerts – the opera is a huge building. To give you an idea about the real dimensions of it, let me just say that is has about 1000 different rooms and these include theatres, offices, restaurants shops, and all kind of functional rooms.

Money matters

Sydney Opera night view ©kevgibbo/Flickr

The Sydney Opera House was also an ambitious project from what concerns the financial aspects – it’s total construction costs are now estimated at an impressive 102 million AUS. Actually, the sum was so big that the government decided to organize a special lottery with the purpose of fundraising. But the effort was not in vain: Sydney natives gained a true symbol for their city.


Leave a Reply