Next Stage Grants
Irish National Opera - The Scorched Earth Trilogy and Street Art Opera App - cc Dumbworld - Credit. Neil Harrison (1) © i
We seek to address the following issues:
- Opera is perceived by many as an elitist artform of little relevance to contemporary, younger audiences.
- Traditional opera performance can be a barrier to access and audiences lack socio-economic / cultural diversity.
- Touring opera has a high environmental cost.
Irish National Opera & Dumbworld developed Street Art Operas in response to these issues. They are a unique blend of opera, street art & animation, presented as outdoor video & sound installations projected onto buildings.
Our presentations of Street Art Opera to date have been remarkably successful and fully subscribed, but we have been limited in scale because of the current technology options available to us. The use of Bluetooth headphones, off-the-rack apps or localised wireless networks have been effective options, but now is the time to bring this collaboration to the next level so that our work can reach a much wider audience and more robustly fulfil our aims.
This project proposes to develop and deliver a mobile app solution to enable audience members to use their own mobile phone device and headphones to enjoy the performance. With this development, we will be able to prioritise both synchronisation and sound quality. This low-cost, low-carbon solution will be able to bring opera to any location in an engaging way.
We will deliver a white-label app which can be customised and adapted for use by other performing arts organisations, helping them to revolutionise their reach and access.
The Scorched Earth Trilogy, the creative project that we will use to launch this new technology, is a series of short, thought-provoking operas exploring the environmental, political & social impact of climate change through the eyes of polar bears, children & world leaders. They aim to challenge complacency in matters of the environment. We will present these operas in a number of locations throughout Ireland and Europe.
Irish National Opera will lead on the presentation, marketing and wider distribution of the performance element of The Scorched Earth Trilogy, and have played a key role in the artistic and recording process. Their skills and track record in presenting contemporary opera and innovative digital projects will ensure that the scaling and development of this project will be carefully managed. Dumbworld have composed and created The Scorched Earth Trilogy. They are experts in finding new and innovative ways to create and present performance art. Their work is evocative and thought-provoking and they have had several successful partnerships with Irish National Opera in the past. Irish National Opera and Dumbworld plan to work with Nüwa Digital Media Content Production Studios Limited to lead and implement the app element of this project. Nüwa not only have the necessary technical skills, but are also specialists in high-quality audio solutions. They are particularly well-placed to deliver on the technology required, having been through an R and D process of finding alternatives to streaming to achieve audio synchronisation through mobile applications for an interactive art installation.