The Sydney Opera House The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in the Australian city of Sydney. It was conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, finally opening in 1973 after a long gestation starting with his competition- winning design in 1957. The Sydney Opera House was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007.It is one of the 20th century's most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world The Sydney Opera House is a modern expressionist design, with a series of large precast concrete "shells" .The shells are covered in a subtle chevron pattern with glossy white- and matte-cream-coloured Swedish-made tiles from Höganäs though, from a distance, the shells appear a uniform white. The building also houses a recording studio, cafes, restaurants and bars and retail outlets. Guided tours are available to the public, including a frequent tour of the front-of-house spaces, and a daily backstage tour which takes visitors backstage to see areas normally reserved for performers and crew members. As one of the busiest performing arts centres in the world, hosting over 1,500 performances each year attended by some 1.2 million people all over the world. The Sydney Opera House is administered by the Sydney Opera House Trust, under the New South Wales Ministry of the Arts.