20 Oct:
Australia’s Most Iconic Building

The Sydney Opera House was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 20th October, 1973, marking the start of a two-week festival of events in celebration of the audacious new building. 

“I understand that its construction has not been totally without problems,” Her Majesty commented with some understatement, adding “but the human spirit must sometimes take wings or sails, and create something that is not just utilitarian or commonplace”.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly discuss why the construction of the Opera House ran ten years late and 1,357% over budget; examine what prompted visionary architect Jørn Utzon to walk away from his magnum opus mid-project; and reveal why finding a home for the pie shop has long bedevilled the landmark’s designers…

Further Reading:

• ‘Sydney Opera House – 50 years of extraordinary moments’ (Sydney Opera House, 2023): https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/our-story/50-years-extraordinary-moments 

• ‘The Surprising Story of the Sydney Opera House’s Construction’ (Google Arts & Culture, 2020): https://artsandculture.google.com/story/the-surprising-story-of-the-sydney-opera-house-39-s-construction/CAVhiDXG4On-xA?hl=en 

• ‘The Sydney Opera House (construction story) 1958 – 1973’ (BBC, 2018):