Last year we set out to create a piece of content that would celebrate Sydney Opera House’s place in the global cultural community—one of the busiest performing arts centre in the world with 8.2 million visitors a year. Even from the inception of The House, master architect Jorn Utzon was committed to pushing boundaries, and as an example they had to invent a new crane to build his model.
So to create something in The House’s name, we sought to democratize the artists and the spirit of The House to as broad an audience as possible. This notion of accessibility and democratizing the content, like our partnership with Google on the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011, was critical to how we would measure success and why we chose to release the clip on YouTube.
We started with a song, Nick Cave’s The Ship Song, considered by many to be one of Australia’s truly great ballads. When we approached artists to volunteer to perform, we found hundreds who were excited to join: Neil Finn, Paul Kelly, Angus and Julia Stone, Martha Wainwright and Daniel Johns, to name a few. To bring it all together, we had these artists perform and accompanied by a full orchestra and opera choir.
For the final result director Paul Goldman created a voyeuristic journey through the venues, rehearsal rooms and back stages of the House. Paul has a unique skill for capturing the personal nuances of the many artists in this clip, and Elliot Wheeler complemented the video with a powerful soundtrack.
We’ve heard positive feedback from Australians at home and all over the world, telling us that it’s brought out pride and even tears. We’re thankful to be able to share this with you, and think our beloved Utzon would be pleased.