Can online performances be profitable?| schools of thought contend

2022-05-19 0 By

The opera industry has never seemed more in crisis, or at least that was the prevailing message at a recent international opera forum.In the middle of January this year, the China international Opera Forum co-hosted by Peking University Opera Research Institute and China Opera Theater line was held in Beijing Tianqiao Art Center. The speeches of online and offline guests can almost be summed up as the “Self-help guide for the Spring Festival” of the opera industry.Opera performance companies operating solely on the market are walking on thin ice due to the mass postponement or cancellation of opera performances due to uncertainties caused by the epidemic.The list of problems boils down to a simple mathematical formula: no tickets = no revenue.If the opera industry has always been anxious to attract customers and scratching its head for box office revenue, then a recurring epidemic has forced everyone to temporarily “lie flat” for a period of time, facing the embarrassing situation of no plays and no tickets, then desperate, and then “lie flat” again.After more than two years, people have gotten used to not talking about “shall we go online?” but “how do we go online?”Not only did it remind me of my turn of the century visit to MIDEM in Cannes, France, where the theme was the impact of MP3 and streaming on physical record sales.The industry’s focus has gradually shifted from “killing online content” to “living with online content” to “monetizing online content”.For all but a few gadget believers, the transition from physical CDS to online streaming is a consumer’s quest for convenience, much as blu-ray’s demise of DVDS is the industry’s quest for better picture quality.Performing arts, including opera, may launch online content in the wake of the pandemic not by choice of consumers or the industry, but out of necessity.At this time, how to turn passivity into initiative and get a share of online content is a new problem encountered by the “old revolution” under the new normal.How does an opera show make money online?Might as well embrace “the stone of another mountain can attack jade” and “foreign for China” train of thought, look at the online content of western opera house practice.Back in 2013, the Vienna State Opera, an institution under the Austrian Ministry of Culture, took the initiative to set up an online home theater as the opera house’s exclusive paid live streaming platform under the initiative of director Dominique Mayer and digital department director Christoph Vidauer.Opera house for the first sign new contracts with actor and stage of skilled workers, for an online broadcast clearing the legal obstacles, and then set up by the directors, juicers and remote-controlled capable team of photographers, in an laid small remote cameras, implement every play shall be recorded, the principles of recording will play, every year accumulation quantity can broadcast dramas reached more than 60.In 2016, on the one hand, THE Vienna State Opera Online home Theater reached cooperation with four Chinese state-owned theaters and troupes, broadcasting concerts and operas from China on its exclusive platform, realizing the concentrated brand in China’s high-end fields and professional communities, and also spreading China’s original works to the world through its platform.At the same time, it has signed partnerships with two Chinese streaming platforms to bring some classic productions and shows to China on a revenue-sharing basis, generating small but steady revenue from China for the first time.Through the introduction of content for institutional clients and the output of content for mass consumers, the Vienna State Opera has realized the dual track of online export and import transactions.During the 2020-2021 season, the opera House had to close for half a year due to the epidemic prevention and control in Austria.The box office revenue from online payment platforms, especially in China, has become the only stable “meal ticket” for opera house in the period of no revenue, and its content is also the treasure of Chinese platforms.Compared with the huge budget expenditure of the Opera House, the online profit is a drop in the bucket, but fortunately, it is not affected by the epidemic, and the profit model can achieve geometric growth through simple splitting. The prospect is promising, and it is worth the analysis and research of the opera house peers in China.The case from Vienna raises a parallel problem: how do you get consumers to pay for online content, and how do you keep buying both online and offline opera houses?How to make live streaming more outstanding?Since the outbreak, audiences and the industry have become accustomed to online content.Performances are committed to live-streaming events from the theater stage, or editing past recordings and putting them online.Like Herbert von karajan the recording technology and laser record in the 1980 s as a new medium for the spread of music, music in the CD of second life, living room, a desk or on different pieces of the size of the screen is the live performance of “the second stage”, listeners can through a computer, tablet or cell phone to enjoy the charm of the music scene.”Enjoy” may be putting it too far.Even with the help of the most sophisticated technologies, the amount of information presented and conveyed by performing arts on the scene will be largely lost in network communication, mainly reflected in the loss of fidelity and sense of scene, not to mention the limitation of network bandwidth and playback equipment on the client side.As some new technology of nouns through frequent of live online gradually thorough popular feeling, dolby panorama on the audio, and network bandwidth on the 5 g or video resolution on the 8 k have become a heavyweight live online technology standard, but through an ordinary six inch screen outside rather than a home theater to watch live online users,How much these technologies can improve the existing viewing experience is also a question I have been pondering.This is also the industry has been thinking about the problem – how to make live streaming more attractive, more outstanding?This may seem like a false proposition, since canned food is hardly more appealing than freshly cooked food, and it’s impossible to recreate the music scene with the best technology.Fortunately, people have long tried something new: since live streaming can’t fully recreate the scene, why not fill in the blanks online?Multi-camera videos that capture details that live listeners can’t detect even with binoculars, interlude interviews or backstage Tours that allow fans to peek behind the scenes of performances, are standard fare for professionally recorded live streams.Multi-camera shooting pictures and backstage tour record provide a new idea for online live broadcasting, that is, not only digitize the content collected on site, but also customize the digital content for the network.Guided by a strategy of tailoring for the web, some opera houses or symphony orchestras active in online video have come up with a clever way to make the digital content of a live audience richer, more irreplaceable, and thus more outstanding by giving the audience access to content that is not available online.May wish to share a few cases to illustrate the online rather than on-site practice.When the Viennese State Opera launched its own live streaming platform in 2013, it set music scores for some live operas from an academic point of view.Through split-screen displays and automatic page-turning, the opera house uses technology to insert watermarks into the video stream and electronic music score for synchronization, so that listeners can watch the opera broadcast online while reading the score automatically page-turning, making live streaming a powerful learning tool.Live streaming can also be a rare immersive experience.When Ben Glasberg-Frost, a British conductor conducting Benjamin Britten’s opera “The Screw Is Tightening” at the Royal Theater in Brussels, Belgium, last spring, he learned during rehearsals that the sold-out performance would be performed behind closed doors.When seats were made specifically for online broadcast, the opera house installed them on the stage so that the audience could become a character in the opera and better feel the dramatic power of the work.Live streaming can be a testing ground for Hollywood-style special effects.In 2007, the Theatre Chatterley in Paris presented Rossini’s Touchstone, directed by Giorgio Babelio Cosetti and Pieric Solin.The stage setting for this version is a huge blue screen.Thanks to image capture and Hollywood-style video effects, the audience sees the movie version on the screen.The opera house “built on this success” and launched the second version of Offenbach’s “Beautiful Helen” with video effects in 2015.With a blue screen and a vivid virtual reality screen, viewers watching online feel like they are in ancient Greece.This is probably the earliest metaverse concept in opera production.Live streaming can be a platform for instant interaction.The Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, in cooperation with Niknick, the originator of Japanese live video streaming platform and danmu, launched live live concert danmu after the epidemic, attracting thousands of people to watch and comment on the performance.Internet bullet screens, or chat rooms, make it possible for listeners to chat and interact with each other while enjoying the show, which is taboo in live performances.It can also be used to “explain” the music in real time, by introducing the on-screen musicians with special colored bullet screens, making concert presentations as gripping as football commentary without affecting the music at all.When music fans can experience things online that they can’t experience live, when they can’t do things live, when that content is engaging, when those experiences are endless and music fans are willing to pay for online content, classical music will naturally reach a younger audience.By Ruofu Tang