Why we’re Making a VR Community Opera

Wednesday, 20 May, 2020

Opera has the power to move and inspire and our mission is to give everyone the opportunity to experience this.

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Image credit: VR Cinema, Carlow Arts Festival

We promote engagement with opera and strive to constantly re-examine the art form and what it means to contemporary audiences.

It is for this reason that we are embarking on a journey to explore new ways of creating opera with communities. Over the coming months we will work with three communities in Ireland to produce an innovative operatic work using state-of-the-art immersive technologies for presentation in 2022. The opera will be drawn from the experience of these communities, in an effort to build a connection with this wonderful art form and open it up as a means of valuable expression in their lives.

By employing immersive technologies such as virtual reality, we hope to expand the means by which opera is created and presented. The mobility of this medium means that our final work can be toured to any library, shopping centre, pub or any other public space in the country. In partnership with the Civic Theatre in Tallaght, Music Generation Offaly/Westmeath and Conradh na Gaeilge, we will run workshops in 2020 and 2021 to co-create a new operatic work that truly reflects the lives and experiences of those taking part.

This project is part of a larger European initiative titled TRACTION and funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. In parallel to our work, similar projects will take place in Spain and Portugal. Our work will be supported by a consortium of tech companies and research institutes. If you would like to learn more about TRACTION and the other partners involved, see traction-project.eu.

This is a hugely exciting project for INO and we hope to produce a work that has a real social and cultural impact. Working in partnership with such a talented European EU consortium to help realise this ambition is a real privilege and we're excited to see what lies in store.