|Sydney Opera House in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia is one of the most distinctive and famous 20th century buildings, and one of the most famous performing arts venues in the world. Situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, with parkland to its south and close to the enormous Sydney Harbour Bridge, the building and its surroundings form an iconic Australian image. To some the spherical-sectioned shells remind them of the flotilla of sailboats commonly cruising there. Tourists - mostly with little or no interest in opera - throng to the building in their thousands every week purely to see it.|
As well as many touring theatre, ballet, and musical productions the Opera House is the home of Opera Australia, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. It is administered by the Opera House Trust, under the New South Wales (NSW) Ministry of the Arts.
The Sydney Opera House has about 1000 rooms, including five theatres, five rehearsal studios, two main halls, four restaurants, six bars and numerous souvenir shops.
The roofs of the House are constructed of 1,056,000 glazed white granite tiles, imported from Sweden. Despite their self-cleaning nature, they are still subject to periodic maintenance and replacement. The House interior is composed of pink granite mined from Tarana, NSW and wood and brush box plywood supplied from northern NSW.
The five constituent theatres of the Sydney Opera House are the Concert Hall (with a seating capacity of 2,679), the Opera Theatre (1,547 seats), the Drama Theatre (544 seats), the Playhouse (398 seats) and the Studio Theatre (364 seats). The smallest building is home to the Bennelong Restraunt.
The Concert Hall contains the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ, the largest mechanical tracker action organ in the world with over 10,000 pipes.
The theatres are housed in a series of large shells, conceived by dissecting a hemisphere. The Concert Hall and Opera Theatre are contained in the largest shells, and the other theatres are located on the sides of the shells. Large free public performances have also often been staged in front of the Monumental Steps that lead up to the base of the main sets of shells. A much smaller set of shells set to one side of the Monumental steps houses one of the formal dining restaurants.