- "An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I've left the opera house."
– Maria Callas
The Sydney Opera House can be quite useful to Culture-oriented players, as it allows the owner to attract Great Musicians much more quickly in the final stages of the game, and combined with the Satellite Broadcasts Policy Card, Great Works of Music will yield impressive amounts of Tourism.
However, building the Sydney Opera House should not be too high on one's priority list, because the amount of Production needed to construct it could be better spent running Theater Square Performances and gaining those Great Musician points from the start. In addition, by the time most players are able to build the Sydney Opera House, they are close to winning, making the +5 Great Musician points per turn mostly inconsequential. Construction of this wonder should generally be attempted only if there is clearly no one close enough to challenge the player in a Culture Victory, and in a city with decently high Production to finish it before the game ends.
The construction of an enormous arts center for Sydney on Bennelong Point had been debated since the 1940s; in 1956 AD the government of New South Wales announced an open-ended competition for the design of something grand to show the world that the city really did have some taste. A Danish architect, Jørn Utzon won with his unique expressionist design, a series of precast concrete “shells,” covered with over a million white- or cream-colored tiles with interior glass curtain walls. So unique was the problematic design (Utzon had paid no heed to structural engineering) that it took sixteen years to build at a cost ten times more than estimated. But, once completed and officially dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II in October 1973, it has since become the iconic symbol of the one-time penal colony. From its 2,679-seat grand Concert Hall to the intimate 210-seat Utzon Room, the Opera House brings performances of all sorts down under.