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Sydney Opera House

Photo by Bernard Spragg. NZ

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The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre on Sydney Harbour. It is one of the 20th century's most famous and distinctive buildings.

Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, but completed by an Australian architectural team headed by Peter Hall, the building was formally opened on 20 October 1973. The Government of New South Wales, led by the premier, Joseph Cahill, authorised work to begin in 1958.

The building and its surroundings 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 close by the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The building has multiple performance venues, which together host well over 1,500 performances annually, attended by more than 1.2 million people. Performances are presented by numerous artists, including three resident companies: Opera Australia, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

As one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, the site is visited by more than eight million people annually, and approximately 350,000 visitors take a guided tour of the building each year. 

On 28 June 2007, the Sydney Opera House became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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