Birth of the Sydney Opera House

By AG Staff 7 November 2013
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In the 1960s, Sydney’s new opera house signified the nation’s maturity into cultural significance.

IT WAS THE GOVERNMENT of New South Wales that chose the design of Jørn Utzon for a new, highly-anticipated cultural building in Sydney. As the Opera House moved from idea to concept, it became a symbol of the budding cultural significance of Sydney and Australia.

There was a hum of excitement surrounding the new building, which the public saw as a sign that Australia was achieving a new level of sophistication, and an identity worthy of the world’s attention.

Bringing the project to fruition, however, proved tricky. Utzon resigned from the project in 1966, and the work resumed in a clash of styles. He died in 2008, aged 90, without ever visiting his creation.

To find out more about the early days of the Sydney Opera House, grab a copy of issue 116 (Sept/Oct) of the Australian Geographic journal.

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History of Australia: A nation in the making
On this day: Rum rebellion rocks Sydney
On this day in history: Sydney Harbour Bridge opens
GALLERY: Construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge