The best-loved building in Australia nearly didn't get off the drawing board. When it did, the lives of everyone involved in its construction were utterly changed: some for the better, many for the worse.
Helen Pitt tells the stories of the people behind the magnificent white sails of the Sydney Opera House. From the famous conductor and state premier who conceived the project; to the two architects whose lives were so tragically intertwined; to the workers and engineers; to the people of Sydney, who were alternately beguiled and horrified as the drama unfolded over two decades.
With access to diaries, letters, and classified records, as well as her own interviews with people involved in the project, Helen Pitt reveals the intimate back story of the building that turned Sydney into an international city. It is a tale worthy of Shakespeare himself.
'A drama-filled page turner' - Ita Buttrose AO OBE 'Helen Pitt tells us so much about the building of the Sydney Opera House we've never heard before' - Bob Carr, former Premier of NSW 'Australia in the seventies-mullets, platform shoes and, miraculously, the Opera House. At least we got one of them right. A great read.' - Amanda Keller, WSFM breakfast presenter
Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:
15 August 2018
1. A phone call from half a world away 2. The young Jorn 3. Scandi-style 4. The mastermind 5. The ordinary Joe, who gave Sydney its Opera House 6. The magnificent lonely idea 7. Sex magic and the maestro 8. Gentlemen, here is your Opera House 9. And the winner is ... 10. Poetry or pastry? 11. Bennelong pointers 12. Kiss and sell 13. With a little bit of bloomin' luck 14. A mini Greek tragedy 15. Rising up like Aztec gods 16. The spherical solution 17. End of the bromance 18. The arch that changed the world 19. Plain sailing 20. Millions and mullions 21. High noon at the chief secretary's office 22. I am still available 23. This chapter is over 24. Malice in Blunderland 25. SOS to London 26. New man at the Opera House 27. Autopsy on a dream 28. Hall's balls 29. Not a job for boys 30. Opening daze 31. Reconciliation Notes Index
Helen Pitt is a Sydney Morning Herald journalist who has worked as the opinion and letters editor at Australia's oldest daily metropolitan newspaper where she began her career in 1986. She has worked as a writer for The Bulletin magazine, in California for New York Times Digital, and as a television reporter at Euronews in France. Her feature writing has won the Austcare Media award and been highly commended in the UN Media Peace prize.
- Short-listed for Walkley Book Award 2018 (Australia)
- Winner of Walkley Book Award 2018 (Australia)