To stage an opera at no additional cost with leading soloists engaged from all over the world, and earn money at the same time — such opportunities of digital opera formats are noted by production director and resident of Culture Online educational digital project Dmitry Otyakovsky on the eve of the World Opera Day on October 25.

One of the main innovators and devotees of digital opera in Russia considers the development of new online technologies in opera as promising even after the pandemic. Director suggests borrowing digital tools from video blogging and letsplay genre, citing donation system as an example.

“In video blogging, as well as in video game broadcasts, donation system is often used, where tickets are not sold in advance, i.e. you don’t need to pay for the access to content. Viewers themselves make monetary donations while watching,” – explains Dmitry Otyakovsky. “Imagine an opera being performed. Tenor takes the upper “Do”. And people start sending donates to him. Or, say, the blockchain potentials – this infrastructure is the basis for the whole NFT technology nowadays. It only relates to images nowadays, but we can think about a musical blockchain project as well”.

Director believes that this is the only way opera can match streaming services and computer games in popularity among the digital generation.

Noting the importance of the pandemic online experience for the development of digital formats in opera, Otyakovsky adds that one should not be afraid of the disappearance of opera houses: “Live sound, live contact and live instruments of the orchestra will always be important for the audience”.

Today, this young St. Petersburg director Dmitry Otyakovsky is one of the main activists of digital opera in Russia. Having seen the prospect of digitalization of the genre back in 2019, within a few years he has released such projects as: screenlife-opera “Feast during the Plague”, let’s play opera “The Covetous Knight”, the AR opera “The Fall From Grace”, the augmented reality media promenade “The Quiet City” and the opera “Glossary 2.0”.

Dmitry also supervises the Digital Opera Research Laboratory. This is a cultural and educational program designed to popularize opera genre in the online environment, find the new forms of musical theater and analyze the situation that has arisen in the cultural sphere due to COVID restrictions.

Glossary 2.0 opera became the director’s first digital project. Its premiere took place in 2019 as part of the finals of the Digital Gonzaga competition. This opera was composed by Yevgeny Voitenko based on a libretto generated by a neuronet. Google Translate is starring.

In 2020, Dmitry released the “Quiet City” AR performance in the genre of mockumentary research. This is an application that allows one to visualize psychoacoustic anomalies found in St. Petersburg and the surroundings.