|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Monday, September 26, 2016
|Sydney Opera House celebrates 40 years with Aboriginal dancers and a gigantic cupcake|
Aboriginal dancers (C) perform a smoking ceremony on the steps of the Sydney Opera House as the world heritage-listed building celebrates its 40th birthday on October 20, 2013. The distinctive performance hall, inspired by Danish architect Jorn Utzon's childhood in the Aalborg shipyards, is one of Australia's best-known landmarks and a centrepiece of Sydney's cultural scene. AFP PHOTO/William WEST.
By: Amy Coopes
SYDNEY (AFP).- The Sydney Opera House, world heritage-listed as "one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity", celebrated its 40th birthday Sunday with a flotilla of lifesavers, Aboriginal dancers and a gigantic cupcake.
Huge crowds packed the steps for a distinctively Australian performance on the glittering harbourfront, where three generations of Danish architect Jorn Utzon's family were the guests of honour.
It was a postcard-perfect day beneath the same cloudless blue skies that inspired Utzon's winning design to build Sydney an opera house back in 1956 -- the white sails drawn from his childhood in the Aalborg shipyards.
"A building like this happens once in a lifetime," Utzon's son Jan told revellers on Sunday.
"It is a unique Australian expression of will and enthusiasm and 'let's go do it' kind of spirit."
A crew of surf lifesavers wearing their famous yellow-and-red caps and costumes arrived at the Opera House's Man O' War steps on one of Sydney's distinctive ferries, flanked by six of the association's dinghies and two tugboats.
They were met and led up the red-carpeted steps by Aboriginal dancers where a traditional smoking ceremony was held to spiritually cleanse the site accompanied by an indigenous dance ritual and didgeridoo.
A giant cupcake topped with a model of the Opera House made from icing was carried onto the stage by the lifesavers, and Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes -- frontman of Cold Chisel -- led a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday accompanied by a navy brass band and school choir.
An Airbus A340 made a low pass over the site to cap celebrations.
The distinctive performance hall is one of Australia's best-known landmarks and centrepiece of Sydney's cultural scene, hosting some 2,000 shows every year and attracting 8.2 million visitors.
"As the most internationally recognisable symbol of both Sydney and Australia, it has become our calling card to the world," said Governor of New South Wales, Marie Bashir.
Opera House chief Louise Herron said the huge crowds were a reminder "that the Opera House is, above all, the people's palace."
Utzon won an international design contest to build the harbour city an opera house in 1956 that attracted 233 entries from 28 countries, despite being relatively unknown in the architecture world.
His ambitious blueprint, drafted from photos and maps without ever having visited the harbour site, took 14 years and Aus$102 million to complete, funded by a state lottery.
It was one of the most difficult engineering feats ever attempted at the time, with Utzon envisaging a chamber with vaulted roofs unsupported by pillars or columns.
Custom-built French cranes were used to piece together the iconic sails segment by segment in mid-air, with pre-cast concrete ribs interlocking in an intricate jigsaw.
Some 1,056,006 individual tiles coat the exterior, custom-made from clay and stone. Utzon was inspired by Japanese ceramic bowls, imagining their pale matte finish would perfectly offset the blue of Sydney's harbour and sky.
Protesters have scaled the building's shell to unfurl banners about climate change and other causes, with one group painting "No War" in five-metre red letters on its uppermost sail in a 2003 demonstration against the US invasion of Iraq.
The Opera House was listed a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2007, the year before Utzon died.
© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse
October 22, 2013
Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch painting on view at The Frick
Sotheby's to offer one of the largest and most important collections of shipwreck photographs
Sotheby's to auction fine Chinese ceramics from The Alfred Beit Foundation in London
Cleveland Museum of Art Director David Franklin resigns effective immediately
The Museum of Modern Art appoints Dave Kehr as Adjunct Curator in the Department of Film
Czech-born photographer Josef Koudelka, a nomad who 'shapes the world' with his camera lens
Alejandra Peña-Gutiérrez named Executive Director of Museo de Arte de Ponce
Rare and princely 18th century bronze casket added to the Bowes Museum's treasures
An outstanding sheet drawn by Andrea Mantegna will be offered during the next auction by Farsettiarte
Over 300 lots that retrace the history of Rock 'n' Roll to be offered at Artcurial Briest Poulain F.Tajan
Christmas wishes will be granted at Bertoia's Nov. 8-10 auction of antique toys, trains and holiday antiques
John Grillo: 1940s, 1950s and 1960s on view at David Findlay Jr Gallery in New York
Sydney Opera House celebrates 40 years with Aboriginal dancers and a gigantic cupcake
Smithsonian exhibition traces European and American fascination with Indian devotion
Exhibition of new paintings by Syrian artist Mouteea Murad opens at Ayyam Gallery in Dubai
MSU Museum exhibits feature photographic portraits by Gilles Perrin
Radius Books publishes Barcelona by Janelle Lynch
After Modern Vermin Control: Nicolas Pol exhibits at Cardi Black Box in Milan
Bonhams appoint Iris Miao as Senior International Consultant of Chinese Paintings
Sapphires sizzle at Bonhams $6 million Jewelry Sale in New York
Major Impressionist, Post-Impressionist works from Texas collections lead European art sale
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Stone Age mummy Oetzi still revealing secrets, 25 years on
2.- Tunisian remains found by British researchers prove 100,000-year human presence
3.- Rembrandt's four earliest paintings reunited for the first time at the Ashmolean
4.- Baltimore Museum of Art is one of only two major U.S. museums to feature an installation by transgender artists
5.- Archaeologists find 2,000-year-old human skeleton at Mediterranean shipwreck
6.- Digitally unwrapped scroll reveals earliest Old Testament scripture
7.- Rich London residents angry over Tate Modern voyeurs
8.- V&A Museum chief quits to fight nationalism post-Brexit
9.- Exhibition in Turin celebrates the most important family of Flemish artists
10.- Pointillism is now the focus of a high-calibre exhibition at the Albertina in Vienna
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.