San Diego Opera Announces ‘Opera Hack’

By David Salazar

San Diego Opera has announced that it will host “Opera Hack,” a two-day interdisciplinary summit with the intention of finding new ways to enhance the production, presentation, and consumption of opera.

“Opera Hack,” which is sponsored by Microsoft and is supported by OPERA America Innovation Grant and the Gordon Getty Foundation, will take place on July 27 and 28, 2019 at the Microsoft Corporation Headquarters in San Diego.

During the course of two days, experts from different fields will partner with local universities and tech companies to solve a number of scenarios.

“Scenarios might include: how can mixed reality be used to create an interactive experience for an opera production? How can projection design be used for a costume change? Can virtual reality be used to preview a production before committing resources to build it? How can augmented reality improve supertitles and our understanding of the opera,” noted the press release for the event.

The concepts will be presented to an advisory panel who will look to develop some of the results for upcoming presentations in 2020.

San Diego Opera is placing an emphasis on local participants for the first “Opera Hack.” The Advisory panel includes Vita Tzykun, award-winning set and costume designer of opera, theatre, and film and a founding member of the GLMMR art collective; Anne E. McMills, Head of Lighting Design at San Diego State University and author of 3D Printing Basics for Entertainment Design; Matt Witkamp, UX/UI Design Team Leader for VR/AR/MR projects with Microsoft, Stanford Medicine, and FlightSafety International; and Ryan Hunt, lead software engineer at the Walt Disney Company. There will be others as well.