In 1957, Danish architect Jørn Utzon’s dramatic design was chosen from more than 233 submissions from 32 countries. And while Utzon is toasted as a genius today and the opera house is the symbol of Sydney, a political battle during the building’s construction led to Utzon’s firing from the project. He left Australia, never to return, and was barely mentioned during the building’s opening ceremonies in 1973. His reputation was rehabilitated when he was asked to redesign the interior of the opera house that opened in 2004 as the Utzon Room. Take a backstage tour when you’re in town. Or here’s an idea: Attend an opera.