A couple of listers described the Sydney Opera House organ as enormous and
quoted 200+ ranks over 5 manuals and pedal. This is true but checking the
stop list it can be seen that there are more than 90 ranks of mixtures.
mixtures are listed as VII to XII (yes 12 ranks in one mixture) I have taken
the higher number as that is the actual number of ranks.  Counting ranks can
give a deceptive picture of the organ. Comparing the two Sydney organs the
resources are as follows:
Opera House:  stops  127 over 5 manuals; Mixtures  102**  ranks; Mixtures
and  mutations   45 stops. Also 5 percussion stops (Glocken). Reeds: 20 + 7
on pedal.

** including 8 ranks of a mixture decomposee on the RP.

Sydney Town Hall organ has also 127 stops over 5 manuals; Mixtures 45 ranks;
Mixtures and mutations 18 stops. Reeds:26 plus 7 on pedal (from 64' down to

There is no basis for comparison between the two organs.By comparison with
many other organs world wide they are not  all that big, particularly when
you take
into account  the huge number of  mixture and mutation stops.
 I have never heard the Opera House  or the Town Hall organs except on
 or broadcast but my spies tell me the impact of the Opera House organ is
all that great in the auditorium, whereas the Sydney Town Hall Hill organ
has a
lot of wallop! The Opera House organ is of course claimed to be the largest
mechanical action organ in the world. The Town Hall organ has tubular
with Barker lever to the couplers. If there is interest I can post the full
stop list of
both organs. It would take a  fair amount of space!
Bob Elms.

References: Gazetteer of New South Wales Pipe Organs (Compiled by John
Maidment, pub. Victorian Organ Society)
For those interested in checking out West Australian Organs the Gazetteer of
WA Pipe Organs (Compiled by J.R. Elms pub. Victorian Organ Society on the
web site) is on the OHTA website.Unfortunately NSW is not listed on the
website except for some historic instruments.

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