Wednesday, January 19, 2011

19 Nov 2010: The Sydney Opera House Essential Tour once more

19 Nov 2010, Fri:

After a memorable afternoon get-away with one of my dear friends, it was time for the Sydney Opera House Essential Tour once more! My first Essential Tour was done about two years ago and I felt that I would be happy to check out this tour one more time. I was definitely happy with my choice.

I witnessed new developments and improvements to the Essential Tour. The Sydney Opera House has also underwent some changes over the past two years and there were changes in the various public spaces. Before the start of the tour, we each took a photograph against a plain background. This photo was meant for a souvenir pack that participants could purchase at the end of the Essential Tour.

Each tour participant was given an individual audio-set so that we can each hear the tour-guide's commentaries and various video presentations at the volume that we prefer.

One of our stops was the new public spaces outside Playhouse. These spaces were part of the Accessibility and Western Foyers project. This project was designed by architect Jørn Utzon and his son, Jan Utzon, in collaboration with Richard Johnson of Johnson Pilton Walker. I like the new Western Foyer space that is simple and dignified in its design. The simplicity of the design gracefully leads the eye to the colourful and magnificent harbour view outside the spaces.

The tour brought us participants to parts of the Sydney Opera House that were out-of-bounds to the members of the public. I was excited to see the Bennelong Point after having heared of the story of Bennelong during The Rocks Walking Tour in the morning.

Although we did not get to visit the Playhouse, the Drama Theatre and the Utzon Room, we had the great privilege to visit the Concert Hall and the Opera Theatre. At the spaces outside the Concert Hall, I saw a double bassist. I could not tell who he was. I wonder whether he was one of the participants who were participating in one of the education projects conducted by members of the visiting Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra?

There is something inspiring about the Sydney Opera House building and one just simply has to visit it to experience it. The Essential Tour is one great way to experience the Sydney Opera House. In addition, one could learn about the essential history of the Sydney Opera House on the Essential Tour.

Our tour eventually led us to the roof are of the Sydney Opera House. That eventually led us to the Opera Theatre. I like its magnificent tall ceilings! At the lobby of the Opera Theatre, we watched one of my favourite Essential Tour videos which contained an inspiring quote that Jorn Utzon quoted which goes:
"Give me a job so that I can devote myself with love and skill 100%. Then it is not a job anymore, then it becomes an art and an expression of love. And this is the Opera House.".

We had the pleasure to sneak into the Opera Theatre's audience seats and saw some performers rehearsing on the stage. Due to copyright concerns, we were not allowed to take photographs in the performing spaces. That had naturally tempted me to purchase the one and only set of souvenir pack tailor-made for me when the Essential Tour came to a close.

The souvenir pack included photographs of visitors superimposed against the backdrop of the Sydney Opera House's Concert Hall and various spaces. I was so thrilled to see a photo of myself superimposed against the background of the Concert Hall that I gladly contributed $35 to own the special souvenir set. I had been to the Concert Hall a few times but it was almost impossible to get a good photograph of myself inside the Concert Hall due to various regulations and lighting conditions. So I knew I just have to get myself the souvenir set. That was the best way for me to have a photograph with the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall as the backdrop.

Honestly speaking, the hard-copies of the photographs did not last well possibly because there was hardly much time to dry the photograph before we participants acquire them. As such, some of the ink from the photographs eventually stuck themselves onto the plastic covers.

However, what I love was that I get to download the softcopy of myself against the backdrop of the Sydney Opera House and I could develop the softcopies of the photographs as and when I please. Other features that I like about the souvenir set was that it came with a CD-Rom that contains photographs of various parts of Sydney Opera House and more importantly, a document containing Utzon's design principles for the Sydney Opera House! I would still get the souvenir set if the clock turns time back again.

If you are in Sydney and you are visiting The Sydney Opera House, make this Essential Tour your choice programme! Folks who have a love for good architecture, design or manificent spaces will simply love the Essential Tour's experiences.

People and moments that I am grateful for:
1) I am grateful that somehow my intuition asked that I purchase a ticket to the Essential Tour even though I had been on it in year 2008.
2) I am grateful for good weather throughout my tour.
3) Many thanks to my friend, RL, for the ride back to city area and for getting me back to the city on time for the Essential Tour.
4) I thank the tour guide, Robbie, for his informative and earnest sharing.

New things that I did:
1) I saw the new spaces of the Sydney Opera House, specifically the Western Foyer.
2) I went for the Essential Tour the second time in my life!

My learning points:
1) When we love what we do, we are on the journey to create masterpieces. This was what I gathered from Jorn Utzon's story.
2) When one likes something, it is perfectly alright to do the same thing more than once. In fact, each attempt is a unique experience on its own.

Sydney Opera House
Essential Tour


kyh said...

Thanks for the tour. It's indeed one of the world's most famous icons. :)

oceanskies79 said...

kyh: Thanks for your compliments. Other than famous, I thought it was inspirational.

pinkie said...

that's a nice pic! I would love to visit Sydney again and I will take the tour!

oceanskies79 said...

Pinkie: I am glad that my sharing on the Sydney Opera House has captivated your interest in Sydney. :)