Must-Do Ashore: Sydney Opera House
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