July 12, 2005

Horse 369 - Opera House to Stand Forever

purilent little maggot that it is

What a pity, I hear on the radio that the Sydney Opera House has been included on the National Heritage List. This now means that the building has protected status.

When the building was first commissioned in 1959, Joern Utzon's design was not only impossible to build but actually difficult to even imitate. Utzon had so many disagreements with the builders that he walked away from the project vowing never again to return to Australian soil.The plan was to have the stage suspended from the ceiling which although a nice idea, would have been structurally unsound.

Work was started in 1959 and estimated that it would cost £5m, but by the time that the building was opened by HM the Queen in 1973, $55m had been poured into it, a state lotteries commission had been set up to subsidise it, Sydney lost it's tram network to help pay for it, and if that wasn't enough, the damn building was unfit for the purpose intended.

It is phyisically impossible to hold an opera in either the Opera Hall or the Concert Hall because the stage and orchestra pit is too small. If you've been inside the building you will have also noticed plastic donuts suspended from the roof. This is because the acoustics are so poor that the singers and concert players on stage can't hear themselves without them.
There is the annoying problem that the building carries an incredible amount of residual echo being finished in off-form concrete. The Sydney Opera House has one of the most advanced stereo systems in the world, and this is just to let the audience hear everything at the same time and not a dissident wave of garbled echo.

So as you could well imagine, I flipped when I heard the news this morning. They've actually decided to heritage list this piece of overblown and overpriced crap? It looks foul and shouldn't have been built in the first place, but then again we can always rely on our state government to spend our money wisely can't we?

$10bn on a water desalination plant, when a $2bn dam would provide 9 times more the capacity at a fifth of the cost also seems like a good idea we should pursue immediately.

1 comment:

Katja said...

Every time I see a picture of that opera house I think of the Walrus in Through the Looking-glass who gobbled up a pile of oysters, which I emagined he ate shell and all. I suppose this building is the expression of the aftermath of that feast-ERP!