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

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

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:

[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR_32OGOhkw”]

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

[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mh_RWafUEoM”]

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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