“The Avatar”: A New Virtual Opera

If you are concerned about the state of society and the state of our planet, you may find this video of interest.  Below is a link to a “Virtual Opera” created by my brother, James.  The opera’s storyline is based on a play by Greek tragedian, Euripides, called “The Bacchae”.  The two major themes are feminism and environmentalism (“Pantheism”). The composer took video clips from various thematically and periodically correct films and compiled them in such a way as to linearly simulate the storyline of “The Bacchae”. James composed the music and used a number of video effects available as part of the video editing package, including video overlays, coloring effects, slow motion, and focus “.

I asked my brother to provide us with some information about the development of “Virtual Opera”.  Here is what he had to say:

The digital era has been tough on the music industry, but it has also opened the door for emerging artists who might otherwise never have gotten the exposure they deserve. This democratization and proliferation of music through technology is a boon for music lovers, as is the opportunity to watch a performer live online from thousands of miles away. Advancements in music technology have spurred growth and innovation in music creation, which is, after all, the point of art.

For better or worse, the pandemic has given birth to a new operatic art form – the virtual opera. Although we can never replace the beauty, grace, and social aspects of traditional opera, the virtual opera brings forth additional opportunity. Virtual opera is not reliant on a brick-and-mortar presence; thus, it is free of the confines and expense of a geographic location. Virtual opera is available to anyone with an internet connection and a little free time on his or her hands. Virtual opera becomes available to all, regardless of the size of their wallet and/or their location, remote or otherwise.

The aesthetic depth in this new genre, virtual opera, facilitates the use of musical and visual techniques often excluded from a traditional opera production. For example, the use of computer animation has truly opened up a new direction for musical theater, one that was previously the sole province of film and television producers. Given the influence of cinema on twentieth and twenty-first century viewers, these influences can only help to draw and maintain audiences for new offerings growing out of the musical form traditionally known as “opera”. It is an influential, entertaining, and emotionally rich form of art and needs to regain its prominence in our culture.