Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sydney Opera House :: Opera Australia: The Eighth Wonder

Photography by See.Taste.Do during Vivid Sydney earlier in the year
I properly paid attention to the story of the Sydney Opera House on the opening night of Opera Australia 's latest production, Sydney Opera House - The Opera: The Eighth Wonder, which is on for a few days from now until 5 November 2016.

Dress: Keepsake The Label | Shoes: Shoes of Prey | Hair by Tara Spendlove at Estilo Hair, North Sydney
This opera piece unfolds the story of the creation of the Sydney Opera House and it reveals more twists and turns than most operas. The architect walked out. The Premier died. The costs ballooned. Its creation caught up in the politics with everyone involved having their own agenda.

It is a fascinating story that is well told through the sound of 'silent opera' music. It's silent because you are given headsets, all performed live and the crystal clear sound is transmitted to the audience through state of the art Audio Technical headphones, ensuring I was cocooned into a world of pure sound. 

The 100-metre wide steps of the Sydney Opera House is transformed into an opera stage and it’s quite a son et lumière spectacle: the platforms will glide across the steps; giant screens unfurl displaying historic photos and there are giant glowing balls of paper, projections and lighting effects.

I learnt a couple of things about the creation of the Sydney Opera House that I had not known before and after the event, I downloaded the design principles to learn more about the Sydney Opera House and its design, the original architect's inspiration and how he was caught up in the politics that led to his resignation before the Opera House was completed.

The Sydney Opera House, which gives Sydney its soul, was originally designed by a Danish architect, Jørn Utzon after winning an international competition announced by the then NSW Premier, The Hon Joe Cahill in 1956, who wanted to leave his name on more than expressways, for the design of an opera house for Sydney which attracted more than 200 entries from around the world.

In addition to drawing his inspiration from nature and organic forms, Utzon drew inspiration from his travels in Mexico, and this comes through in the performance. In the design principles document, Utzon wrote he got his inspiration from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, which was flat with jungle vegetation of approximately 8 metres high. The Mayan People lived here and when they built their temples, these are often placed on a large platform with wide stairs leading to the top of the jungle canopy. From here you have a limitless view of the expanse of jungle like a large plain. On this platform this temple was built. Hence the creation of the 100 metre wide steps.

The dramatic events in the creation of the Sydney Opera House and the sacrifice of shattered dreams and vision of Utzon on the alter of politicians serves excellent material for an opera performance on the epic steps of the Opera House itself.

It was a wonderful all weather experience. There are 5 pop up bar and restaurants inside the forecourt area so you can grab a bite or eat or drink before the show.  It sprinkled on the opening night I went so we ended up getting ponchos and enjoyed the rest of the evening watching opera in the rain. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and a most definitely a unique way to learn a significant part of Australia’s history. Go and see it!

For more information and ticket information, go to the Sydney Opera House website.

See.Taste.Do was invited to the opening night courtesy of Opera House

Photography by See.Taste.Do during Vivid Sydney earlier in the year

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