The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in New South Wales, Australia. It was conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, opening in 1973 after a long gestation that began with his competition-winning design in 1957. The NSW Government, led by Premier Joseph Cahill gave the go-ahead for work to begin in 1958. The government's bold decision to select Utzon's design is often overshadowed by the scandal that followed. It is on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It sits at the northeastern tip of the Sydney central business district (the CBD), surrounded on three sides by the harbour (Sydney Cove and Farm Cove) and inland by the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Contrary to its name, it houses multiple performance venues. It is among the busiest performing arts centres in the world, hosting over 1,500 performances each year attended by some 1.2 million people. It provides a venue for many performing arts companies, including the four key resident companies Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and presents a wide range of productions on its own account. It is also one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, with more than seven million people visiting each year, 300,000 of whom take a guided tour.

It is administered by the Sydney Opera House Trust, under the New South Wales Ministry of the Arts. On 28 June 2007, it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the 20th century's most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world.


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