Together with Vodafone, the "Deutsche Oper am Rhein" has launched a pilot project using augmented reality (AR) at an opera production. The aim of the project is to use digital technology to provide new access to the analogue world of music theatre and to reach new target groups..
The pilot project will take place in the context of the new production of "Die tote Stadt" by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, where 30 spectators will have the opportunity to experience the performance with AR glasses. A total of six performances are planned, the premiere will take place on 16 April 2023.
A team of opera representatives and Vodafone began working on the AR project almost a year ago and jointly developed the concept for the digital opera glass. The content is played out "on demand", i.e. the audience decides for themselves which information they would like to see at what time.
The AR glasses display additional digital information during the performance, such as background information on the work or bilingual surtitles. Different camera perspectives, for example in the orchestra pit, are also possible.
AR in theatre is still technically uncharted territory. While theatre performances in virtual reality have already existed for several years, projects in which AR is used have been rather rare so far.
However, there are also concerns about the impact of AR on the live experience. Critics fear that the insertion of digital elements could distract the audience's attention from the actual performance.
Text: Kristina Tewes