New Digital Media Company OSSIA Launches Op Culture Channel

By Chris Ruel

OSSIA, a new digital media company arrived on the opera scene on July 16.

Co-founded by four artists from within the industry, OSSIA’s mission is to open the door to the world of opera through engaging digital content. The company’s initial foray into the content space is “Op Culture,” a digital channel dedicated to providing original content to global audiences.

Baritone Joseph Lattanzi, mezzo-soprano Alyssa Martin, soprano Patricia Westley, and stage director and filmmaker Marcus Shields, developed OSSIA — a musical term meaning an alternate passage — as a novel way for new as well as experienced opera audiences to encounter and learn about the art form and its vibrant culture.

In keeping with its name, OSSIA sets up an alternative entrance into opera distinct from the traditional theater experience. The founding quartet of artists took their cue from YouTube, learning from the platform’s most innovative examples, and gaining an understanding that audiences are drawn to personal perspectives.

“Conventional attempts by the establishment to engage new audiences have failed and we are attempting to create something more human and intimate, while also communicating the massive talent, skill, and expertise of the operatic community,” co-founder Marcus Shields stated in a press release.

OSSIA’s inaugural digital channel, Op Culture, is designed to lighten the tone, excite the style, and expand the form of internet-based operatic content, as well as increase the speed and quality of content provided across digital media platforms.

Op Culture’s first batch of video content will include a broad range of content spanning from game shows and documentary-style video essays to reimagined live performance films.

“Ultimately, we want to make engagement simple and fun. An audience should be able to enjoy a YouTube video about Anna Moffo, immediately connect to a related Spotify playlist, and jump over to a blog post expanding on the topic,” co-founder Alyssa Martin stated in the press release.

OSSIA’s immediate video content includes the following series: “Questionnaria,” a rapid-fire Q&A interview series; “Guess That Voice,” a drop-the-needle game show, where contestants identify an opera singer, opera, and aria from a series of brief clips; “Song Association,” a take on the “Elle” series: “1 word. 2 languages. 15 seconds.” that finds the common link between opera and popular music; “Obsessions,” a video essay on obsession-worthy parts of operatic culture; and “Op Art,” an exploration of the operatic music video.

New content will appear weekly and will be distributed across OSSIA’s YouTube channel, the Op Culture website and blog, Facebook, and Instagram.

For more information, visit OSSIA’s website.