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V. Bezmenov

Digital-opera: problems and development prospects of the genre

The article explores new perspectives of the opera genre in the media era. Modern media technologies have introduced new opportunities to the opera house. One of them is digital opera. This genre takes various forms, from the inclusion of performative elements associated with the active role of the viewer, to the model of a quest – a game on a personal device (special application in a smartphone). Digital opera also changes the way a work is created, along with the nature of its perception. The audience actively participates, and roles of the other members of production also changes dramatically. The experience of creating an artwork becomes network based, often asynchronous, that is, independent of traditional theatrical means of expression. It’s getting closer to the strategy of video games creation. Voice or vocalization is ubiquitous in this genre, but it can be either real or simulated by electronic means. Opera for mobile devices, which nowadays is one of the new and rapidly developing genres, is analyzed in the article. The conclusion is that the new forms of digital opera finally break with the idea of the author’s musical work and turn the former genre into a modern quest for smartphone, which unfolds according to the rules of a computer game on the screen and uses, in most cases, user’s personal playlists. The social aspects of the opera genre, presented in such an unusual perspective, are intensified as the audience feels their involvement in the process. The participant enters this one-to-one personal relationship with the quest, so-called “opera”, which gives rise to numerous opportunities to creatively control one’s involvement in the creation process.

Key words

mobile opera, personal opera, new media art, digital art, Tod Mahover, Jaakko Nousiainen.

For citation

Bezmenov V. Digital-opera: problems and development prospects of the genre // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2022. No. 1. Pp. 91–98.