Sydney Opera House's 'Play It Safe' to celebrate 50 years via The Monkeys

19 October 2023

Creative Agency: The Monkeys, part of Accenture Song

5 7
Written and composed by Tim Minchin.

The Sydney Opera House has released a musical tribute to mark 50 years of bravery, creativity and wonder at the world’s most celebrated cultural landmark.  

Play It Safe was written and composed by Australian singer Tim Minchin as an ironic salute to the bold, visionary experiment that became the Opera House.

The song is a musical homage to a building that tested the limits of engineering and design, forever changing the face of Sydney. Minchin has crafted a wry, potent message about the importance of defying conventions and taking risks.

Made in partnership with creative agency The Monkeys, part of Accenture Song, directed by filmmaker Kim Gehrig and produced by Revolver x Somesuch, the music video features a collection of Australian artists and arts companies who share an enduring connection with the Opera House.

Minchin’s playful lyrics are richly illustrated in sequences featuring Sydney Symphony Orchestra, The Australian Ballet, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Ziggy Ramo, Zahra Newman representing Sydney Theatre Company, John Bell representing Bell Shakespeare, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Elma Kris representing Bangarra Dance Theatre, Kira Puru, Cathy-Di Zhang representing Opera Australia, William Barton, Courtney Act, Jimmy Barnes, Sydney Dance Company Pre Professional Year Students and Associate Artists, Lucy Guerin dancers and Minchin himself, in a stunning visual journey through the Opera House’s stages, on its steps and at the peak of its soaring white sails.

Minchin said he adores the Opera House – playing in and around this beautiful building has been one of the great honours of his 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," he said.

"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.”

Sydney Opera House CEO, Louise Herron, said 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," she said.

"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.”

The Monkeys Group CEO and Accenture Song ANZ president, Mark Green, said the agency has had a long history with the Sydney Opera House since creating the Ship Song in 2010.

"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," said Green.

Tourism Australia also teamed up with the Opera House to support the stunning music video that invites the world inside the iconic building and positions ‘Everyone’s House’ as a place for contemporary culture and art.

Tourism Australia managing director, Phillipa Harrison, said the company is thrilled to support the 50th anniversary of one of Australia’s most globally recognisable icons.

"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," she said.

"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

Latest Campaigns

comments powered by Disqus