This is a quite extraordinary building. Perhaps the least heralded of the major works associated with Beijing circa 2007-09 - compared to the Water Cube, Birds Nest, CCTV, Terminal 3 etc. - It was the only one of that extraordinary list that I got a close look at (save a functional drift through the airport and a drive-by of CCTV). Designed by Paul Andreu, the opera house is a vast titanium dome sitting in a man-made lake, on Chang’an Avenue, and next to Tiananmen Square.
Its form, and its proximity to the Forbidden Palace, have apparently generated much criticism from both whatever the Beijing equivalent of ‘the man on the Clapham Omnibus’ is as well as the local media. A cost blow-out may be partly to blame - though the Party have pointed out that an opera house is hardly going to be a ‘for-profit’ enterprise, thank goodness - but it’s the form of the thing that appears to be problematic, earning it the unflattering nickname of ‘the egg’.