Oprah at the Opera House

Oprah at the Opera House
Seven Network
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American talk show superstar Oprah Winfrey filmed two episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show in the Forecourt of the Sydney Opera House. This is an excerpt from Seven News, Brisbane, broadcast on 14 December 2010.

Thousands of fans pack the steps to be in the presence of Oprah and her guests: Russell Crowe; Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin; Jay-Z; Bono and Hugh Jackman. The Opera House was chosen as a venue because of its immediate recognition as an emblem of Australia.

Hearing Australian rock anthem 'Down Under' by Men at Work (1981) maximises the sense of Australian identity for an international audience. The Oprah Winfrey Show episodes were broadcast in 145 countries.

American singer Bon Jovi appears singing his 1986 song 'Livin' On a Prayer' – another great example of a classic rock song from the 1980s that would be known by Oprah's target audience. The brief sound bite of the anthemic chorus is enough of a reminder of the song's power. Its inclusion is about revving up the audience, and it works.

The black eye Hugh Jackman gets when the brakes fail on his zip-line from the Opera House's sails exemplifies the surprises inherent in live television.

As a media package this clip effectively covers most of the highlights of the event but without going into any real depth. The aerial shots successfully give a dramatic sense of the size and energy of the crowd but it can all seem a bit remote when viewing from home. More vox pops may have provided a greater feeling of connection to those lucky enough to be in the crowd.

Notes by Beth Taylor