Sydney Opera House - Up Close

If you have ever visited Sydney you know that even though the Opera House is one of the most photographed buildings in the world, none of the photographs adequately capture its beauty.

You have to get up close to see the individual tiles. The roof contains over 1 million white ceramic tiles imported from Sweden. These unique tiles have two types of finish: matte and glazed. They have been arranged in a specific pattern that takes advantage of the ever-changing sunlight in the harbour.

In the evening, colored lights shine on the Opera House. On New Year’s Eve, the explosions from the fireworks are colorfully reflected in the tiles.

During the day, the roof is a brilliant white one minute and then it appears to be cream or gray. From a distance it is impossible to see the detail of these individual tiles that make up the sails. Up close, they are absolutely incredible.

There are so many fascinating things to learn about the Opera House.

In 1956, 233 designs were submitted for the Opera House design competition. In January 1957, Jorn Utzon was announced the winner. It was originally estimated that the project would cost $7 million. The final cost was $102 million. Most of the expenses were covered by a state lottery. There are two main halls and a restaurant. The Concert Hall organ took ten years to complete and it is the largest mechanical organ in the world.

It is also interesting to learn that a net was installed above the orchestra pit in the 1980’s following an opera featuring live chickens. One of the chickens walked off the stage and landed on top of a cellist.

The Opera House is a beautiful building with an intriguing history that extends far beyond my brief description and photos.

Sometimes our lives are like these pictures of the Opera House. We see things from afar, often through the eyes of another person, but we don’t get close enough ourselves to see the beautiful details.

It is time to start paying closer attention to the people and things in your life. Don’t just judge them from afar. Take time to learn more about them and really start to notice the tiny details that make life so amazing.


For more information about the Opera House, take a look at the following documentary:

(Note: I don't necessarily recommend the other videos listed on the menu at the end of the video. They have randomly been placed there by YouTube)