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VR shows ‘pioneering piece of theatre’

A new project combining classic opera with frontier technology is delivering a first-of-its-kind viewer experience.

Thanks to a collaboration between REWIND, a VR/AR production agency, and CAMERA, the motion capture research centre at Bath University, a new immersive opera experience has been created for the Welsh National Opera (WNO).

The facial and body movements of soprano, Karah Son, captured as she performed ‘Un Bel Di,’ from Puccini’s opera, Madam Butterfly, were used to develop the virtual platform, which is now touring England and Wales. On entering a bespoke shipping container, people put on a Google Daydream View VR headset to enjoy scenes from Madam Butterfly and The Magic Flute.

David Massey, Digital Producer at WNO, said: “It was a pleasure working with CAMERA on our Magic Butterfly experience.

“The team at CAMERA have helped us deliver our vision by translating Karah’s spellbinding performance into VR.

“One of our aims was is to see if audiences could emotionally respond to Karah’s performance as she performs as an avatar – the initial response has been overwhelmingly positive and in part we have CAMERA to thank for helping us to realise this pioneering piece of theatre.”

The tour runs until the end of January next year – check out the schedule.

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