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Distributed opera: new stagings, new roles

Distributed opera: new stagings, new roles

Published in 'Peripeti - tidsskrift for dramaturgiske studier', Vol 20, December 2013, p. 30-41. Peripeti is a Danish peer-reviewed journal for dramaturgical studies; Vol. 20 is a themed issue on Music Theatre.

Republished 2018 on RMIT's Agile Opera website

Distributed Opera: new stagings, new roles

The online screen is emerging as a major platform for experiencing opera, as both commercial and artistically experimental explorations into virtual audio-visual technologies spread to the intersection of music drama, opera and the internet. This article considers changes and conflations in the relations between opera stage and auditorium in virtual opera experiences, and views possibilities for advancing the nature of opera within an online virtuality. Developments such as growing opportunities for viewer participation and interaction, and the schizophonic disembodiment of the singing opera figure, may introduce elements of distributed agency into opera and music-drama experiences. These reflections close with a description of an opera presently under development, for distribution as a tablet application: Signe Klejs and Niels Rønsholdt’s Breathless Moment.