Test Your Knowledge of the Sydney Opera House

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9 Questions

What is the name of the Danish architect who designed the Sydney Opera House?

Jørn Utzon

When was the Sydney Opera House opened?


Which government agency manages the Sydney Opera House?

Sydney Opera House Trust

What is the name of the performance venue in the Sydney Opera House that was designed by Jørn Utzon?

Concert Hall

Why did Jørn Utzon leave the Sydney Opera House project in 1966?

He was owed more than $100,000 in fees

What was the first interior space rebuilt to an Utzon design in the Sydney Opera House, and when was it opened?

The Utzon Room, 2004

What event in 2014 won a Guinness World Record and was held at the Sydney Opera House?

The biggest blind date

What controversy surrounded the Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron in 2018?

All of the above

What is the significance of the Sydney Opera House in films and television?

It is frequently used as a symbol of Sydney and Australia

Study Notes

Sydney Opera House is a famous and distinctive multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, Australia, designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and opened in 1973. The building was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 20 October 1973 after a gestation beginning with Utzon's 1957 selection as winner of an international design competition. The building comprises multiple performance venues, which together host well over 1,500 performances annually, attended by more than 1.2 million people. The building is managed by the Sydney Opera House Trust, an agency of the New South Wales State Government. The building and its surrounds occupy the whole of Bennelong Point on Sydney Harbour, between Sydney Cove and Farm Cove, adjacent to the Sydney central business district and the Royal Botanic Gardens, and near to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The facility features a modern expressionist design, with a series of large precast concrete "shells", each composed of sections of a sphere of 75.2 metres (246 ft 8.6 in) radius, forming the roofs of the structure, set on a monumental podium. The building covers 1.8 hectares (4.4 acres) of land and is 183 m (600 ft) long and 120 m (394 ft) wide at its widest point. The Sydney Opera House includes a number of performance venues, including the Concert Hall, the Joan Sutherland Theatre, the Drama Theatre, the Playhouse and the Studio. The Opera House was formally completed in 1973, having cost $102 million.The Sydney Opera House was originally estimated to cost £3.5 million ($7 million) and be completed on Australia Day in 1963, but it ended up taking ten years and costing $102 million, which was 1,357% over budget in real terms.

In 1972, construction workers affiliated with the BLF went on strike and demanded a 25% wage increase and the rehiring of a fired worker. They were all fired in response, leading to a five-week work-in with workers' control of the site. The workers agreed to end the work-in when management agreed to their demands.

Jørn Utzon, who had won the competition to design the opera house, left the project in 1966 after tensions with the client and the Cahill government's insistence on progressive revisions. Utzon was owed more than $100,000 in fees, which were withheld by Davis Hughes, the new Minister for Public Works. Utzon resigned after Hughes refused to pay him any fees and would not collaborate with him, leading to the phrase "Malice in Blunderland."

After Utzon's resignation, the Hall, Todd, Littlemore partnership was formed to complete the project. Peter Hall was responsible for the design and worked on the project for over five years.

The Sydney Opera House opened in 1973 and was formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II. Utzon was not invited to the ceremony, nor was his name mentioned.

In the late 1990s, the Sydney Opera House Trust resumed communication with Utzon in an attempt to effect a reconciliation and secure his involvement in future changes to the building. Utzon was appointed by the trust as a design consultant for future work.

In 2004, the first interior space rebuilt to an Utzon design was opened and renamed "The Utzon Room" in his honour, containing an original Utzon tapestry. In 2009, the Western Foyer was refurbished and accessibility improvements were made.

Various performances were presented before and after the official opening, including the first performance of the Australian Opera Company in 1970 and the first live digital 3D cinema broadcast in 2010.

During the 2000 Summer Olympics, the venue served as the focal point for the triathlon events.

Since 2013, a group of residents from the nearby Bennelong Apartments have been campaigning against Forecourt Concerts on the grounds that they exceed noise levels outlined in the development approval.Sydney Opera House: Controversies and Achievements

  • Residents opposing concerts argue that a new DA should have been filed instead of an amendment.
  • The Sydney Opera House celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2013 with a light show projection on its sails.
  • A New Year’s fireworks display was held for the first time in a decade on December 31, 2013.
  • The venue hosted the “biggest blind date” event on February 21, 2014, which won a Guinness World Record.
  • The longest-serving employee was honored for 50 years of service on June 27, 2018.
  • The state memorial service for former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke was held at the Sydney Opera House on June 14, 2019.
  • In 2018, the Opera House CEO Louise Herron was criticized for refusing to allow Racing NSW to use the sails for advertising, leading to a clash with Sydney radio commentator Alan Jones, who called for her sacking.
  • NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian overruled Herron, leading to public outcry and a petition against advertising, which collected over 298,000 signatures.
  • Notable performances at the Opera House include concerts by The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, and Elton John.
  • The Sydney Opera House has won numerous awards, including the World Heritage Site designation, the Engineering Heritage International Marker, and the National Trust of Australia Heritage Icon Award.
  • The Opera House is frequently used in films and television as a symbol of Sydney and Australia.
  • The Wikipedia article on the Sydney Opera House contains material from the “New South Wales State Heritage Register” published by the Government of New South Wales under CC-BY 3.0 AU license.

How much do you know about the iconic Sydney Opera House? Test your knowledge with our quiz and discover fascinating facts about its history, design, controversies, and achievements. From Jørn Utzon's resignation to the first live digital 3D cinema broadcast, this quiz covers a wide range of topics related to one of Australia's most beloved landmarks. Challenge yourself and share your results with your friends to see who knows the most about the Sydney Opera House!

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