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Virtual Victorian Opera Is Reimagined Online

Virtual Victorian Opera Is Reimagined Online
By Michelle Sciarrotta

In the wake of COVID-19, Victorian Opera are reimagining the potential of Opera for the digital age. With a programme of scheduled live performances being cancelled or postponed until 2021, the company have launched the Virtual Victorian Opera platform, which will deliver a stream of diverse content online, including a new recital series and a comic mini-series written for University-aged singers reflecting on life in lockdown.

A New Era for Opera

“We’re incredibly proud of our small company,” notes Victorian Opera’s Artistic Director Richard Mills.

“We have always been agile in our reimagining of Opera and Musical Theatre, and the current global circumstances have allowed us to demonstrate that yet again. Many of our staff have re-skilled or drawn on different talents in their toolkits. It’s been inspiring to observe.”

Across its Virtual Victorian Opera platform, the company has delivered hilarious videos by tenor Carlos E. Bárcenas, performance highlights from past productions, and interview series Artists in Isolation.

“We connect with Opera singers and makers all across the world each week, more intimately than ever before. The series has taken us from superstar Jessica Pratt’s Tuscan villa to Lithuanian soprano Vida Miknevičiūtė’s summer house, and around Australia,” adds Mills.

VOYCE

Engaging with the talented young singers from Victorian Opera’s Youth Chorus Ensemble (VOYCE), VOYCE Director and composer Angus Grant has written the mini-series Opera-Bytes during lockdown. Following a group of University-aged singers as they adjust to life during the COVID-19 pandemic, the new music brings humour and light to our current situations.

Grant notes, “We were keen to give the VOYCE participants something to do to maintain a connection with them. Why not create short works for our teenagers/young adults that are about their life during lockdown and perform them under the restrictions they are all facing? Young people’s passions are just as operatic as that of any historical figure and works written specifically for them can allow them to express this within their vocal means.”

Opera-Bytes deals with the banalities of domestic life under social distancing (including the wrestle with technology), the desire to form new bonds despite this and also the sense of loss that many young people are facing.” – Angus Grant

Bringing the Opera to you

Virtual Victorian Opera are creating new content and archival videos weekly, bringing the joy of opera direct to you at home, and will also deliver fortnightly recitals from local opera singers; many of whom have lost work with the cancellation or postponement of company productions. The recital series includes performances from Victorian artists Simon Meadows, Rebecca Rashleigh, Douglas Kelly, Juel Flemming, Stephen Marsh, Kathryn Radcliffe and Shakira Dugan.

“It is our duty and privilege to engage artists through our recital series and other programs. We have more projects that we have been very busy developing, ready for release in the weeks and months to come, and are looking forward to a return to the Theatre as soon as it is safe to do so.” – Richard Mills

In addition to the launch of Virtual Victorian Opera, the company has an extensive back catalogue of Audio Podcasts, entitled The Art Of Opera, which delve into an array of topics and discussions with industry names.

Victorian Opera News and Updates

Victorian Opera has frequently updated statements regarding the latest COVID-19 information on their website, including rescheduled dates for postponed shows and affected performances. There is also an option for current ticket holders, sponsors and supporters to donate the price of their tickets or become a patron to the organisation during these uncertain times.

Visit www.victorianopera.com.au to discover more.

Also by Michelle Sciarrotta:

Women’s Audio Mission: Free Online Learning Resources

Sophia Dalton: Interview with a London based Stage Manager

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