Behind the Shells

Apart from the modern vehicles, Jørn Utzon's original submission to a design competition for an opera house on Sydney's Bennelong Point reads like a Hollywood stage direction for a biblical epic: "The audience is assembled from cars, trains and ferries and led like a festive procession into the respective halls, thanks to the pure staircase solution…" With his winning entry for the Sydney Opera House in 1957, the 38-year-old Dane proved to be as ambitious a choreographer of spectacle as D.W. Griffith or Cecil B. DeMille. Leaving behind the rush and grind of the city, opera-goers would be transported up a...

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