Sydney Opera House celebrates 50 years with Tim Minchin and The Monkeys

The Sydney Opera House has recruited Australian composer Tim Minchin to launch a musical tribute to its 50 years of history, in partnership with creative agency The Monkeys.

‘Play It Safe’ was written by Minchin as an ironic salute to visionary experiment that became the Opera House, resulting in a four minute long music video that features the likes of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, The Australian Ballet, John Bell of Bell Shakespeare, Courtney Act, Bangarra Dance Theatre and Jimmy Barnes, amongst others.

The work was directed by filmmaker Kim Gehrig and produced by Revolver x Somesuch.

Commenting on the campaign, The Monkeys CEO, Mark Green, said: “We’ve had a long history with the Sydney Opera House since creating the Ship Song in 2010, and we are proud to play our part in championing creativity and the arts in celebration of an icon. It’s been a pleasure working with such a talented group of people.”

Sydney Opera House CEO, Louise Herron, added: “Imagine if the creators of this magnificent building had played it safe, imagine what we would not have. Their bravery forever changed our nation. We set out to create a tribute to the Opera House 50 years on – to inspire the community and to remind us all of the incredible moments that have taken place here over the past five decades. With the help of the brilliant Tim Minchin, Kim Gehrig and a wonderful cast of Australian artists, this song celebrates what’s possible when you think big.”

Of the song-writing process, Minchin said: “I adore the Opera House – playing in and around this beautiful building has been one of the great honours of my creative life. So I was hugely flattered when I was invited to write something special for the Opera House’s 50th that celebrated it as a monument to what is possible when we think big. To remind us that our not-entirely-mythological ‘larrikin’ spirit is the same spirit that allows us to be bold and brave and not care too much what other people think.”

Tourism Australia was also involved in the campaign, which positions the Australian landmark as ‘Everyone’s House’.

“We are thrilled to support the 50th anniversary of one of Australia’s most globally recognisable icons, the Sydney Opera House,” said Tourism Australia managing director, Phillipa Harrison.

“Taking prominence on the shores of Sydney Harbour, it is a building that has inspired millions of visitors from all over the world to travel here to admire this stunning architectural masterpiece up close, highlighting its central role in international tourism to Australia. Synonymous with Australia and Sydney’s stunning harbour and modern skyline, it has featured prominently in our international tourism marketing campaigns over five decades, including our latest campaign ‘Come and Say G’day’, helping to inspire international travellers to visit our country.”


Client: Sydney Opera House
Joanne Been, Brand Lead
Jade McKellar, Chief Customer Officer
Stephen O’Connor, General Manager Marketing
Kate Huish, General Manager Communications
Dan Ingham, Creative Director
Rebecca Munro, Head of Brand and Marketing Campaigns
Paayal Dharmani, Head of Digital Marketing
Julia Kenny, Senior Creative Content
Natalia Scherer, Production Manager – Creative Studio
Amelia Jang, Video Content Specialist
Melanie Wellington, Senior Communications Manager
Nicola Whiteside, Content Marketing Manager
Jack Woodward, Paid Media Manager
Event Account Manager: Daniel O’Connell
Production Coordinator: Emma Paterson

Creative Agency: The Monkeys, part of Accenture Song
The Monkeys Co-founder & Group CEO, Accenture Song ANZ President: Mark Green
Co-founder & Group Chief Creative Officer: Scott Nowell
Chief Creative Officer: Tara Ford
Executive Creative Director: Barbara Humphries
Senior Art Director: Alex Polglase
Senior Copywriter: Jake Ausburn
Head of Production & Senior Producer: Penny Brown
Producer: Izzy Robertson
General Manager: Kezia Quinn
Senior Business Director: Fizzy Keeble
Experience Strategy Director: Tim Wilson-Brown
Strategist: Raghav Iyer

Production House: Revolver x Somesuch
Director: Kim Gehrig
Producer / EP: Pip Smart
Managing Director / Co-Owner: Michael Ritchie
Director of Photography: Stefan Duscio
Choreographer: Lucy Guerin
Production Designer: Steven Jones Evans
Costume Creative Director: Vanessa Coyle
Costume Stylist: Olivia Simpson & Nicchia Wippell
Editorial: TRIM x ARC Edit
Editor: Tom Lindsay & Elise Butt
Post Executive Producer: Daniel Fry & Noreen Khan
Post Producer: Kani Saib & Tatyana Alexandra
Colourist: Trish Cahill
Online: Eugene Richards

Music & Audio Post Production

Music and Lyrics: Tim Minchin

Music Production: Turning Studios

Executive Music Producer/Arranger: Elliott Wheeler
Turning Studios Producer: Carla de Menezes Ribeiro
Music Mix Engineer: Jamieson Shaw


Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra & Sydney Philharmonia Choirs
Bass: Jonathon Schwartz
Drums: Hamish Stuart
Guitars: Ben Hauptmann

Recording Engineers
Band and main vocal recording: Rose Mackenzie-Peterson
Assistant Engineer: Brad Hasiuk @Studios 301
ACO and SSO recording: Bob Scott
Sydney Philharmonia Choir recording: Carlos Arango
Individual Performers: Joshua Craig

Recording Assistants

Keens Brewer, Will Lobb, Benjamin Cauduro & Brianna Salisbury

Single Release Mastered: Leon Zerves at 301

Audio Post Production: MassiveMusic

Sound Design: Simon Kane
Foley Artist: John Simpson
Executive Producer: Katrina Aquilia



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