The Future of Opera?

Opera in the town of Rennes in France is again pushing the technological boundaries. They are not content to be the first in the world to broadcast their opera in 3D more than two years ago and are not sitting on their laurels being first in offering internauts the opportunity to attend a virtual opera in their 650 seat jewel box opera house.

Today, the new production of Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seraglio,” conducted by Steuart Bedford with staging by Vincent Vittoz, will again be on the large screen in the town square and available in 3D in indoor spaces. It will also be broadcast on local and regional television and again available for virtual attendance at operabiz.fr. (Sorry, internauts, the spaces have been sold out for some days.)

But this time, 50 tablet computers (iPads, etc.) will be made available in the audience. These will allow the holder to look at the stage from different angles, wander backstage, look in the pit or follow the libretto or music score. Subtitles and help for the deaf and hard of hearing is just a click away, of course. The telephone, cable and internet company Orange is working with the Opera de Rennes to evaluate this new technology. It could very well be a hint that, somewhere in the future of television, you might just be liberated from your favorite spot on the sofa.

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