The Opera House, a book by Peter Fitzsimons

16 April 2022

The Opera House, by Peter Fitzsimons, book cover

The Opera House, written by Sydney based author and journalist Peter Fitzsimons, and published by Hachette Australia, takes a behind the scenes look at the design and construction of the Sydney Opera House, one of the most recognisable buildings in the world.

On a sacred site on the land of the Gadigal people, Tubowgule, a place of gathering and storytelling for over 60,000 years, now sits the Sydney Opera House. It is a breathtaking building recognised around the world as a symbol of modern Australia. Along with the Taj Mahal and other World Heritage sites, it is celebrated for its architectural grandeur and the daring and innovation of its design. But this stunning house on what is now called Bennelong Point also holds many sorrows, secrets and scandals.

Fitzsimons also asks a question that’s perhaps overshadowed by statue of the building itself, and the dispute between Jørn Utzon, the Danish architect who drew up the original building plans, and the NSW state government:

How the hell did 1950s Sydney, surrounded by a white picket fence, eating meat and three veg, first sign off on, and then BUILD the exquisite Jewel for the Ages that is the Sydney Opera House?

Yes, now that you put it that way…