And when the fat lady does sing, Google Glass will be the witness

Opera lovers, hold on to your seats — and your opera glasses. In what’s being billed as a global first, a handful of singers and musicians with the opera company in Cagliari, Sardinia, will don pairs of Google Glass this evening for the first of several performance of Puccini’s Turandot, hoping to bring this operatic gem up close and personal to the company’s Facebook audience. In a post by Eric Sylvers for WSJ.com, details of the plan are laid out like the beautiful notes of Nessun Dorma:

“It gives you a completely different view of something you’re familiar with and used to watching, like having a soccer player wear Google Glass during a game,” said Mauro Meli, the general manager of the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, the Sardinian city’s opera house. Mr. Meli says the idea is to reach a younger audience, a part of the public that traditionally has not been interested in going to the theater to see an opera. “If we are going to be heard by these young people we need to open a door that is closed right now and to do that we need to be innovative,” said Mr. Meli. In addition to appearing on Facebook, the images produced by Google Glass will also be broadcast in the lobby of the opera house during the intermissions and on the website.

For more information on tonight’s big show, check out the company’s website. Here’s what they have to say about the project, which runs through mid-August:

The audience will finally be able to see the show through the troupe’s eyes.
The Teatro Lirico di Cagliari will be the first to use Google Glasses to allow the audience to interact with Puccini’s Turandot from July 30 – August 16, 2014.
Until today, going the opera has meant listening to words and music and observing gestural expression and images from a single point of view.
Now, thanks to the app developed for Google Glasses by TSC Labs, a partner of the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari MediaLab and a Google Enterprise Partner, the audience will be able to see the performance from multiple points of view – from the soprano’s to the stagehand’s.
The project of the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari is highly innovative. It is the first Opera House to host a Research and Technology Centre. Moreover it is the first to use Google Glasses during a live opera performance.
The public only needs to check the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari social media sites to get the most up-to- the-minute photos and videos.
The Teatro Lirico di Cagliari’s Turandot is a new and innovative production. Mauro Meli, Teatro Lirico Intendant, chose Sardinian artist Pinuccio Sciola to design the sets and Google Glasses and Social Networks to provide a totally new and immersive opera experience.

The opera company has established itself as a cutting-edge troupe. Check out their flash mob here:

As the WSJ points out, this effort is not completely uncharted territory for the opera company in Sardinia’s historic capital:

This is not the first digital initiative of the Cagliari opera house, which this year has boosted season tickets 40% and overall ticket sales by 57% in part by other moves aimed at getting the attention of the 20-35 crowd. The opera house is an active user of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram, and the organization’s website site has the feel of a hip concert promoter rather than an opera house.

 

Photo credit: wikipedia.org

Patrick May Patrick May (317 Posts)

With more than 30 years on the front line of daily American journalism, I'm currently a staff writer with the San Jose Mercury News, covering Apple and writing people-centric business stories from Silicon Valley.