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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

THE SCOOP | Canada’s First Opera Hackathon Combines Opera And High Tech

By Anya Wassenberg on November 4, 2021

re-Naissance_Opera
Mireille Asselin, Soprano. (Photo courtesy re:Naissance Opera/Indie Fest)

What happens when you put opera artists, indie gamers, and tech experts together for four days?

That’s the premise of what is being called Canada’s first Opera Hackathon. It takes place starting November 4, 2021 in Vancouver, B.C., as part of IndieFest, a celebration of opera in all its forms.

The goal…

…Ten indie gamers, hackers and other tech experts, along with ten opera artists will collaborate over four days, using contemporary tech to create new experiences for a centuries old art form.

  • The results will be innovative digital content;
  • The emphasis is also on perfecting the production process, and cost-effectiveness.

The hope is that their ideas may even help to shape the future of operatic performance.

IndieFest

This year’s version of IndieFest includes a number of cutting-edge innovations, along with traditional opera experiences. They include:

  • Virtual Reality
  • CGI livestreams
  • Interactive Motion Capture performances

Eurydice: Live From The Underworld is an interactive livestream that uses computer-generated sets, and avatars inspired by myth, performed by live opera singers. The audience determines the outcome of the story.

A Behind-The-Scenes look at dancer Erika Mitsuhashi rehearsing with her avatar, Eurydice for the Live From The Underworld premiere on Nov. 6th at 5:30 p.m. PDT (2:30 p.m. ET) on YouTube Live.

What they’re saying

Debi Wong helms re:Naissance Opera, a Vancouver-based indie company. “Western opera was invented because people from different disciplines came together to reimagine theatre. They leveraged the best of all the art forms and the best of modern technology,” she says in a media release. “It’s time for an update.”

Neelesh Nair, Hackathon Mentor and Director of Virtual Production at re:Naissance Opera, adds, “Games these days are accessible on a vast selection of platforms and cover a broad range of genres and topics. The democratization of game development engines like Unity and Unreal Engine has fueled the rise of independent game developers. These passionate folks are now using game engines to create artistic, innovative and interactive media of all types. It is exciting to see how these creators can help to shape the future of opera.”

#IndieFest 2021 runs from October 28 through November 7; the full event schedule can be found at indiefest.ca.

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