Mark Opitz

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Mark Opitz
Born1952 (age 68–69)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
OriginSydney, New South Wales
Occupation(s)Record producer, audio engineer
Years active1971–present

Mark Opitz AM is an Australian record producer and audio engineer. He was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1952 and moved to Brisbane in 1959 spending his teenage years there. He is a childhood friend of Kym Gyngell.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation,[1] the multi-awarded record producer is now a Visiting Fellow of the Australian National University's School of Music. Mark Opitz started his career with ABC and later produced AC/DC, Australian Crawl, Cold Chisel, INXS, and Divinyls. The rock music idol from Australia currently works with Bad Dreems based in Adelaide. Opitz looks forward to developing the music program by merging various music genres. In 2016, the ANU promised to give over $12 million in subsidy for the School of Music.


Opitz started his career with ABC TV in Sydney in the 1970s and has since gone on to work with many of the great Australian musicians that have graced both the Australian and international music charts for the past 25 years.

When Australia's pre-eminent production team, Vanda and Young, offered Opitz, fresh from his job as at EMI Music (Capitol & Local Artists Label Manager), a position as their apprentice producer he accepted immediately and started working with their artists that included AC/DC, Rose Tattoo and John Paul Young and Flash and the Pan. Opitz learned the skills necessary to be a top music producer through this on the job training.

It was during this period Opitz was given the job of producing Alberts artists The Angels producing their Face To Face & No Exit albums. Opitz stumbled upon gold by creating The Angels signature, thick guitar sound that ruled Australia's '80s/90s airwaves.

Around this time Warner Music offered Opitz the position as Head of A&R while he was producing the East album for Cold Chisel. He accepted and went on to sign Billy Field, The Divinyls and many others. He also produced further albums for Cold Chisel (Circus Animals and Swingshift), Richard Clapton (Great Escape), Swanee and The Hitmen.

After leaving corporate A&R Opitz entered into a partnership in the legendary Rhinoceros Studios in Sydney, set up his own production company and went on to produce albums for Jimmy Barnes, INXS' first classic album, Shabooh Shoobah, Models "Out Of Mind Out Of Sight", Hoodoo Gurus "What's My Scene", Australian Crawl's "Reckless", Noiseworks and The Reels as well as many others.

The 1980s saw Opitz win the industry voted Australia's Best Producer Award 7 times. (2x Aria's and 5 ABC TV Countdown). At the ARIA Music Awards of 1987 he won Producer of the Year and the same category in the following year.[2][3]

In the '90s, Opitz was based primarily overseas working with International artists. During that time he also produced several more INXS albums, including Welcome to Wherever You Are and Full Moon, Dirty Hearts. He also produced "Live Baby Live" for the band while accompanying them on their yearlong international tour while acting as their music production advisor. This climaxed with the legendary Wembley Stadium show that was released in DVD format in 2003.

Marks career also has a solid international profile; he is included in Billboards All Time Top "Producer Encyclopaedia", which covers all genres of music. He has more recently worked with likes of Bob Dylan on his Academy Award ceremony performance of "Things Have Changed" from the movie The Wonder Boys as well as the more recent US double platinum award-winning KISS / Melbourne Symphony Orchestra TV/ DVD/CD Kiss Symphony/Alive 4. Other international artists Opitz has worked with during his career include Lenny Kravitz, Ray Charles, The Beach Boys and many other European and Asian artists.

In the late 1990s Michael Gudinski (Mushroom) invited Opitz to join his executive team and to help oversee his Australian music recording projects in readiness for the sale to News Limited. This period saw Mark working in all facets of the business culminating in the production of the highly successful "Mushroom 25th Anniversary" series of concerts, albums and TV/DVD specials etc.

Mark's company "The Best Seat In The House" produced the INXS DVD/TV special "I'm Only Looking" for international release through Warner Music in the US and Universal Music for the rest of the world. This project included many interviews, mini- documentaries as well as all the music videos and lives performance footage.

As well as the Kiss & The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra project "Alive 4" Opitz also produced the music for the Kiss high definition US TV special/DVD release "Rock The Nation" in 06 and Paul Stanley's solo project in 07. Since then he has produced albums for Rose Tattoo, Jeff Lang, and Monique Brumby among other projects.

Currently Mark is a full voting member in all categories of both The Aria Awards in Australia and The Grammy Awards in the USA.

Career timeline[edit]

  • ABC-TV, Studio Trainee 1971–1973
  • EMI Australia, Capitol Records & Local Artists Label Manager, Producer 1974–1977
  • Albert Productions, Producer 1977–1980
  • Warner Music, Head of A&R 1980–1982
  • Pacific Deluxe Productions, CEO & Producer 1982–1997
  • Mushroom Group, Head of A&R 1997–2001
  • Consultant SMA (Solomans & Don Hagens re: SMASH Music business model (2001–2002)
  • The Best Seat In The House, CEO 2002–2008
  • One Music.Asia, Director 2008–



Opitz started his career as a production engineer in television. In 1975, he started work at EMI Studio 301 and worked his way up to becoming EMI's Australian house producer.


According to Australian Rock Database[5] and allmusic.[6]




















  • Black Aces: Anywhere But Here[8][9]


Awards and nominations[edit]

ARIA Music Awards[edit]

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. They commenced in 1987.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
ARIA Music Awards of 1987 himself ARIA Award for Producer of the Year Won
ARIA Music Awards of 1988 himself Producer of the Year Won

TV Week / Countdown Awards[edit]

Countdown was an Australian pop music TV series on national broadcaster ABC-TV from 1974–1987, it presented music awards from 1979–1987, initially in conjunction with magazine TV Week. The TV Week / Countdown Awards were a combination of popular-voted and peer-voted awards.[11]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1980 himself for East by Cold Chisel Best Australian Producer Won
1982 himself Best Australian Producer Won
1984 himself for work with Australian Crawl, INXS & Divinyls Best Australian Producer Nominated
1985 himself Best Australian Producer Won
1986 himself Best Australian Producer Won


  1. ^ "Cold Chisel, AC/DC, INXS producer joins ANU School of Music". ABC News. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Winners by Award – Producer of the Year". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  3. ^ "17th Annual ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 23 February 2004. Retrieved 5 November 2016. Note: User may be required to access archived information by selecting 'The History', then 'By Award', 'Producer of the Year' and 'Option Show Nominations'.
  4. ^ Kurutz, Steve. "Mark Opitz > Biography". allmusic. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  5. ^ Holmgren, Magnus; Shaw, Julian. "Mark Opitz". Australian Rock Database. (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 27 November 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Mark Opitz > Credits". allmusic. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  7. ^ Dickens, Rob (2 July 2013). "TRead about Owen Campbell's new release The Pilgrim". Listening Through the Lens. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Bendigo hard rock four piece Black Aces return with new album 'Anywhere But Here' – The Rockpit". Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Black Aces to release second album 'Anywhere But Here'". Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  10. ^ "ROSE TATTOO will release "Outlaws" March 6". Rose Tattoo. 20 February 2020. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Countdown to the Awards" (Portable document format (PDF)). Countdown Magazine. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). March 1987. Retrieved 16 December 2010.

External links[edit]