Must-Do Ashore: Syd­ney Opera House

Yachts International - - Sternlines -

In Aus­tralia, they call the struc­tures above the Syd­ney Opera House “shells,” but it was sails that in­spired Dan­ish ar­chi­tect Jørn Ut­zon. His fa­ther was a ship de­signer, and Ut­zon used nau­ti­cal charts to learn the land­scape his build­ing would oc­cupy. Even the opera house’s prac­ti­cal el­e­ments are marine-in­spired: There are no gut­ters; rain falls into gaps in the con­crete walk­ways and then drains to the sea, as with scup­pers.

The opera house puts on about 2,000 live per­for­mances each year in var­i­ous the­aters, and its 2,679-seat con­cert hall feels like a cathe­dral. The grand or­gan has 138 vis­i­ble pipes out of 10,244 that con­tinue be­hind a wall, and is be­lieved to be the largest such or­gan in the world. One mu­si­cian who tried to con­trol its five key­boards, pedal board and 172 stops for air flow called the ex­pe­ri­ence “like wrestling a mon­ster.” syd­ney­op­er­a­house.com

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