Opera North: Reaching new audiences with immersive digital trailers

Project partners: Opera North and the University of York

Opera North is a national opera company and leading UK arts organisation. Their award-winning work tours theatre stages and concert halls throughout the North of England and beyond, including London and major international festivals. They innovate across artforms and embrace a diversity of skills to make bold and ambitious new work, shared in new ways. 

Working with the University of York AudioLab, this R&D project explored the potential of interactive, spatial audio technology to encourage a tech-savvy demographic to engage with a classical opera. 

An interactive trailer was produced for Opera North’s 2020 production of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. The listener was able to control the perspective through which the classic story was told. Users were guided through an immersive web-based experience that included elements of the opera’s music. They were able to change the environmental soundscapes to shape and affect their own emotional responses to the story.

Dominic Gray, director of projects and industry partner on this project, says:

“We are on a journey of significant change, on which we want to reinvigorate the impact and perception of opera’s relevance and variety. Reaching new audiences in new ways and making a positive societal impact across our region and beyond. 

University of York AudioLab, helped us to explore if immersive and interactive digital storytelling could bring new and more diverse audiences to our productions. 

The project has demonstrated the value of immersive and interactive digital storytelling to support traditional opera productions. The Opera North team will continue to develop these approaches for future work.”

Watch the trailer

Categories: Performance