Heaps of us love to have a sticky beak around fancy real estate openings in our local neighbourhood, seeing how the other half live. But few homes could pack quite as much wow factor into their bricks and mortar as the Sydney Opera House.
Last year, 560,000 lucky souls got to do just that: take a sneaky peek at the incredible behind-the-scenes spaces we never get to see. The ones that make all the magic happen.
Well, luckily for us, now everyone in Australia and, indeed, the world can delve into these remarkable spots tucked under the harbour icon’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed sails (decked out in a million-plus tiles, in contrasting glossy white and creamy matte).
Led by enthusiastic tour guide Declan, this fantastic ten-minute video takes you through the stage door. There’s an Auslan edition, too.
Starting off in the vast scenery dock recently installed underneath the Joan Sutherland stage in the 2017 reno, the tour will give you a glimpse of the 20-tonne beast of a lift that moves the majestic backdrops for the Australian Ballet and Opera Australia into place, all without disturbing a glass of wine.
Taking in the wonder of the 1,057-seat auditorium, the second-largest contained within the Opera House, the tour then goes into the orchestra pit, a place once infamously invaded by an unruly chook mid-show. You’ll also get a glimpse of into some of the 62 dressing rooms that have hosted everyone from Dame Joan herself to Jackie Chan to Prince.
There’s a backgrounder on the ghost lights keeping the stage ablaze until audiences return, and a look at the Grammy Award-winning recording and broadcast studio and its technical wizardry. So what are you waiting for? Follow your nose, and Declan, and step inside the best house on the planet.
Want to know more of the Opera House’s secrets? Explore its lesser-known corners care of the Nooks and Crannies musical series.
This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.
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