First-time Operagoer ConfessesDate: 9 June 2009
Seattle Opera is undertaking a novel audience interaction exercise, which plunges a new operagoer into all aspects of the opera experience, and then gets her to feedback her thoughts and feelings via the internet. The project, titled "Confessions of a First-time Operagoer", will feature a behind-the-scenes video diary.
The company has secured a four-year grant from the Wallace Foundation to find innovative technological approaches to audience-building. Following a vote in which the winner was picked by the public, the next stage will involve an immersion in Wagner’s Ring Cycle over the Summer. Heady stuff for an opera newbie but if she has an open and enquiring kind, she should be in for a fantastic time.
The chosen host, 19-year-old Cassidy Quinn Brettler has always been intrigued by opera, but has had very little exposure to it. Her Ring journey will begin long before opening night on August 9. Throughout the summer she will learn about what it takes to put this monumental work on stage.
She will talk to artists who perform in and create the production, take behind-the-scenes tours, attend rehearsals, and meet some die-hard Ring fans. She will be sharing her impressions and insights along the way through Facebook and Twitter, as well as on Seattle Opera's website (seattleopera.org) and blog.
With London opera companies exploring similar aspects of internet interaction, it may not be long before we see such an enterprise over here.
- Simon Thomas
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