At the end of 2021, OperaVision is taking stock of its last four years of activity. Since its launch in October 2017, OperaVision has streamed 200 full-length operas, 23 concerts, 7 dance performance and 5 competitions. 63% of the performances have come from the 28 opera house partners which signed our cooperation agreement with the European Union in the framework of the Creative Europe programme. OperaVision is not an exclusive club and we are grateful to 65 other Opera Europa members who have contributed 86 performances to enrich the OperaVision offer over the last four years. Creative Europe contributed 2 million € of the 6 million € project budget.
In the darkest hours of the pandemic, OperaVision stepped up with an enhanced offer to audiences across the world. In 2020 OperaVision was sharing nearer 7 new productions per month rather than its customary weekly new additional stream.
Audiences have followed us and grew considerably in 2020. Of the total 24 million views acquired by OperaVision since launch, 14 million have been in the last 18 months. A third of these views has been for the full-length performances. The rest has been for the short-form content shared by OperaVision on its main channel and across our social media.
While nothing will replace the experience of sitting in a real theatre, OperaVision is playing an increasingly important role in sharing a digital experience of opera. The online environment can be a space for prolonging the conversation with audiences about these performances, as our impressive numbers on social media show. Although no substitute for animated exchanges in a noisy interval bar, OperaVision is the place - more than on any other online platform that currently exists - where audiences from across the world come together online to share an experience of opera in real time. At every OperaVision stream, our YouTube live chats unite people in living rooms across the world. While on TikTok (upstairs in teenagers’ bedroom perhaps?), OperaVision’s fast-growing social media channel is teasing the interest in opera of a whole new generation.
At the same time, audio-visual and digital media colleagues from Europe have met – in person and online – to share experience, learn from each other and develop best practice for the sector. Constant development of new technologies and communication channels feed the regular discussions between these professionals, and their meetings are open to all Opera Europa members.
The end of year brings reports to write and final expenses to claim for OperaVision’s 28 partner theatres with the EC. We thank them for the efforts which have made such a success of this phase of the project. Many of these theatres will return, alongside some new partners, for the 2022-24 chapter of our online adventure; more on OperaVision Next Generation in the next OE News.