Opera is a historic art that struggles to be approachable to modern audiences. In partnership with the Irish National Opera (INO), this work considers how VR may be used to develop a new form of immersive opera. To this end, we ran three open-ended focus groups to consider how creative, multisensory, and social VR technology may be employed in digital opera. Our findings assert the importance of creating an immersive experience by safely giving audiences agency to interact, to democratize personal and social experiences, and to consider different ways of representing their bodies, their social rituals, and the virtual social space. Using these findings, we envision a new form of VR opera that couples physical traditions with digital affordances.

Opera co-creation for a social transformation
IMX '21: ACM International Conference on Interactive Media Experiences
Distributed and Interactive Systems

Striner, A, Halpin, S, Röggla, T, & César Garcia, P.S. (2021). Towards immersive and social audience experience in remote VR opera. In ACM International Conference on Interactive Media Experiences (pp. 311–318). doi:10.1145/3452918.3465490