[Sydney, New South Wales Escapade with HTC EVO 3D] – Watching An Australian Opera and Touring Sydney Opera House

By alvinology, November 10, 2011 2:50 pm
The Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House

As we near the end of my Sydney escapade with HTC EVO 3D, hosted by Destination New South Wales, Eunice and I caught a performance by Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House on the fifth night. This was followed by a tour of the Sydney Opera House on their Open Day the next morning, together with Willy who is back from Wollongong.

Conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the Sydney Opera House was opened in 1973 after a long gestation starting with his competition-winning design in 1957. Utzon received the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s highest honour, in 2003. Today, it stands as a magnificent multi-venue performance arts centre, often seen as the icon of Sydney.

The Sydney Opera House was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007. It is one of the 20th century’s most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world.

When we arrived at Sydney Opera House, we were greeted by Anna McDougall, the bubbly and friendly digital marketing person from Opera Australia.

Together, the three of us were watching Opera Australia’s rendition of The Merry Widow, an operetta by the Austro–Hungarian composer Franz Lehár:


Here’s a sample video of the opera piece,“Cherchez la Femme”, performed by the Opera Australia cast:


Summary:

The diplomats are desperate, the financiers are flapping and the markets are melting down. Only one thing can save the Kingdom of Pontevedro from imminent bankruptcy. Someone must marry the glamorous and very wealthy widow, Hanna Glawari! The Merry Widow waltzes into town in a flurry of ball gowns and fans, top hats and tails. Giles Havergal directs this an eye-catching new production that combines nineteenth-century glamour with twenty-first century artistry. At the heart of The Merry Widow is a love story. Hanna is the wise and beautiful widow; Danilo is the lofty idealist. Watch them spar, squabble and flirt even as the music reveals their perfect harmony. Will this obstinately unromantic couple ever get together?

Performed in English with English surtitles.

Running time: Approximately two hours and thirty minutes with one twenty-minute interval.

Opera newbies, Eunice and I were glad to have Anna around as she introduced us to the storyline, cast and various show trivia.

Anna also showed us around the Sydney Opera House during the intermission and shared with us more about Opera Australia, Australia’s largest and busiest performing arts organisation, with over 600 opera performances a year. It’s repertoire ranges from baroque to bel canto to high romantic opera to operetta and musicals to new commissions.

At the end of the performance, Anna kindly drove us back to our hotel in her car.

The ticketing area where we met up with Anna

The ticketing area where we met up with Anna

Me with bubbly Anna from Opera Australia

Me with bubbly Anna from Opera Australia

Lounge area

Lounge area

People on the upper floor

People on the upper floor

View of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the lounge window

View of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the lounge window

Anna and Eunice in the performance hall. Strictly no photography, but we took a quick harmless shot before the performance started.

Anna and Eunice in the performance hall, before the performance started

Intermission, you can see the performers resting in the room below

Intermission, you can see the performers resting in the room below

The next morning, we woke up early, heading to the Sydney Opera House again, this time for their Open Day tour. Willy joined us too. We get to ride in the Mercedes convertible, sponsored by Hertz Car Rental, which Willy has been hoarding.

Our guide, Duglass informed us that the Open Day tour was very unique compared to the usual Sydney Opera House tours. Not only was it FREE, it also allows visitors access to usually restricted areas. We were able to walk on the stages which Duglass has never done in previous tours.

I was pretty impressed with the architectural marvel of the Sydney Opera House, having gawked at it both from the outside and from the inside. The tour experience was all the more memorable for Eunice and I, having just watched a performance at one of the concert hall the night before.

Early morning jogger at the Sydney Opera House

Early morning jogger at the Sydney Opera House

Eunice and Willy busy with their HTC EVO 3D

Eunice and Willy busy with their HTC EVO 3D

A long photography art installation outside the Sydney Opera House

A long photography art installation outside the Sydney Opera House

Spotted Alice and the Rabbit from Wonderland rushing to catch a ferry

Spotted Alice and the Rabbit from Wonderland rushing to catch a ferry

The rabbit was struggling to move faster with his big fat feet

The rabbit was struggling to move faster with his big fat feet

At the ticketing area, waiting for the tour to begin

At the ticketing area, waiting for the tour to begin

The gift shop has an interesting Sydney Opera House Barbie on sale

The gift shop has an interesting Sydney Opera House Barbie on sale

The inside of the unique curved roof

The inside of the unique curved roof

Inside the performance hall where Eunice and I watched The Merry Widow the previous night

Inside the performance hall where Eunice and I watched The Merry Widow the previous night

Costumes from the set of "The Merry Widow"

Costumes from the set of "The Merry Widow"

Eunice and WIlly seated in the front row

Eunice and WIlly seated in the front row

Eunice, Willy and I in front of the stage

Eunice, Willy and I in front of the stage

Backstage

Backstage

More garish set costumes on display

More garish set costumes on display

A closer look at one of the costumes

A closer look at one of the costumes

Ballet shoes

Ballet shoes

Ballet costumes

Ballet costumes

Various promotional posters

Various promotional posters

Orchestra Assembly Room

Orchestra Assembly Room

The interior architectural design is just as interesting as the exterior

The interior architectural design is just as interesting as the exterior

Inside out

Inside out

Willy taking a picture from inside Sydney Opera House

Willy taking a picture from inside Sydney Opera House

Sydney Harbour Bridge view from inside

Sydney Harbour Bridge view from inside

Lounge area with a view

Lounge area with a view

Interiror of the other larger performance hall

Interiror of the other larger performance hall

From another view

View from a higher vantage point

Group shot

Group shot

Please be seated ladies and gentlemen

Please be seated ladies and gentlemen

The stage

The stage

Stage piano

Stage piano

The stage platform is not usually open to public, hence the four of us took this photo to mark the occasion

The stage platform is not usually open to public, hence the four of us took this photo to mark the occasion

The world's biggest organ

The world's biggest organ

What a performer would see from the stage

What a performer would see from the stage

Top to bottom view of the stage area

Top to bottom view of the stage area

These are stereos to transmit audio back to the stage so the performers can assess themselves more accurately

These are stereos to transmit audio back to the stage so the performers can assess themselves more accurately

The ceiling

The ceiling

John Cleese's room

John Cleese's room

Oprah Winfrey's room

Oprah Winfrey's room

One of the many dressing rooms

One of the many dressing rooms

One of the many wardrobe rooms

One of the many wardrobe rooms

Wigs room

Wigs room

Kids' zone during the Open House

Kids' zone during the Open House

This concluded my brush with the Arts at the iconic Sydney Opera House. Stay tuned to my next and final update. :)

FYI: There’s a voting contest going on via the official HTC Escapade website. Vote for your favourite Sydney photos taken by me and stand a chance to win a HTC EVO 3D smart phone for yourself! Triple your chance by voting for a photo each from Willy, Eunice and I!

Useful Links:

HTC Escapade featuring Willy Foo, Eunice Khong and Alvinology

Day 1 – Quad Biking, Sandboarding and 4WD Ride

Day 2 – Horse Riding, Parasailing and Dolphin Watching

Day 2 – Crave Sydney International Food Festival, Fraser Suites, Sydney by Night

Day 3 – Sunrise, Fine Dining, Harley Ride and Surfing at Bondi

Day 3 – Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb and Balla Restaurant at The Star

Day 4 – Wine and Beer Tasting, Picnic Lunch and Helicopter Ride at Hunter Valley

Day 4 – Saké Restaurant & Bar at The Rocks

Day 5 – Breakfast at Bills Darlinghurst

Day 5 – Shopping at Paddington Markets, Oxford Street and Glebe Markets

Day 5 – Golden Century Seafood Restaurant (金唐海鲜酒家) at Chinatown

Opera Australia

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House Open Day

Hertz Car Rental

Destination New South Wales

HTC EVO 3D

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