Jørn Utzon Memorial-a celebration of the life of the Sydney Opera House creator.

øøToday I had the great priviledge of attending the Memorial for the architect and great genius Jørn Utzon. It was a time to honour the legacy this man has left our country and each individual in it.

This moving tribute highlighted the joy his great building, the Sydney Opera House has brought us. Those associated with the Opera House and those who have performed in it remembered the awe that the experience gave them.

The audience also felt Jørn Utzon’s presence as his children, Jan and Liv Utzon, spoke so movingly about their father. It was a moment truly worthy of the standing ovation they were given by all present.

The Sydney Opera House is, and always will be, that beautiful iconic building that greets all who come to Sydney harbour. It is a sculpture on a giant scale that is admired from without and breathes cultural life into all who wander inside or merely stop to gaze at it from near or far. To see and to experience its majestic presence is a real joy and it is constantly changing depending on the light or the aspect from which it is viewed. Its magic is truly addictive. One wants to come again and again to experience its supreme beauty.

Above all it is accessible to all who chose to partake of its life. Not as elitist as some would suggest. It draws its cultural life from many sources. From school children at the annual Choral Concerts to the Sunday afternoon performances, to the outdoor concerts on its forecourt, to the performance of groups like The Choir of Hard Knocks, to community days such as the celebration of one Italian National Day when the whole concert hall broke into song becoming one massive choir of performers and patrons joined in a crescendo of Verdi, it has enriched our lives. It has included all who chose the come and be part of this vibrant living organism.

To those who haven’t experienced the Sydney Opera House I say come. You will be captivated.

To his family I say we can only thank Jørn Utzon for giving Australia and the world an architectural masterpiece without parallel that has captured all our hearts.

In honour of the occasion I share this poem:

From the Clouds

it rises over the water
like a clutch of rare pearls,
held out by the land
as an offering to the harbour,
to the sea.

white shells listening quietly,
to the city’s noises,
lulled by the lapping water’s murmur
as it passes.

Music of the harbour catches in its shells,
mingling with the echoes of
time past.
Echoes of the didgeridoo
and tapping sticks
weave through the sounds of voice
and instrument.
It becomes a Gothic Cathedral,

its beating heart pulsates
with the expectation of a thousand faces
that come to worship,
to become part of this living organism.
Its blood force,
the energy of applause.

Lustrous, in the changing light it glows,
sometimes dazzling,
sometimes deepening
through the tones
of the sun quenching itself
in the sea.

And still it calls,
as it floats softly above the land,
calling, calling
to one far away,
one who
dreamed these shells into being
from the clouds.

© Claudia Mainard, 2003

Inside the Concert Hall

Sails in the Sun 1

Images © Claudia Mainard, 2009


~ by abstraktbiblos on Wednesday, 25 March, 2009.

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