OperaVision 7 months and counting…

OperaVision is seven months old and starting to fly.  Luke O’Shaughnessy, OperaVision’s project manager, looks back over OperaVision’s short and broadly successful first months.

Since its launch in October 2017, our channel has acquired 813,942 views across all its channels – that’s social media and the OperaVision channel itself. Since February, our channel has been growing at an impressive rate of approximately 1000 new YouTube subscribers per month. 

Total videos viewed
across all channels 813,942 
full length performances 365,443
short videos 448.449

This success should be set in the context of increasingly competitive streaming marketplace. Our first mission has been to establish the new OperaVision brand, with the project already known by the previous name of The Opera Platform. The parallel challenge has been to bring together a programme that distinguishes our platform as the place for European Opera on the web. 

In these endeavours, we are grateful to the 30 members of Opera Europa, who have committed energy and resources to successfully sending OperaVision on its way. As you can see below, many partners have been promoting OperaVision with passion – whether on city billboards, in the evening programmes of their audiences, via imaginative posts on social media or through a dedicated link on their homepages. 

The operatic programme these partners have offered has been a feast.  The month of March alone included an unrivalled line up of varied productions from across the continent: Prague National Theatre’s recent production of Martinů’s Juliette, a Polish rarity from the National Opera in Warsaw – Różycki’s Eros and Psyche, and three live streams from La Monnaie in Brussels, Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm and Komische Oper in Berlin – streaming respectively: a Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci double bill, Aida and Offenbach’s Blaubart
The variety of the programme in the subsequent months as been equally notable including some notable highlights:  Verdi in familiar and less familiar form – La traviata from Oslo and Il corsaro from Palau de les Arts; two concert performances –  Royal Swedish Opera’s Birgit Nilsson’s 100th anniversary concert and Rossini’s Stabat Mater from Teatro Comunale Bologna; a new singing competition – the live stream of the first edition of Opera Crown – Tbilisi International Voice Competition from Georgia; a family opera  – La Princesse légère by Violeta Cruz from Opéra-Comique in Paris; and even a world-record attempt of 3000 people singing Va pensiero live from the roof the Norwegan National Opera in Oslo.

The ‘live’ in this live streaming has certainly been a factor in the success of these opening months. The streams that go out live – the majority of our programme – have had better audiences than those which were streamed as pre-recorded productions. The OperaVision partners have embraced this challenge. Some have been assisted by national broadcasters in this but again the majority have learnt – with the assistance of the OperaVision team (itself on a steep technological learning curve) – that live streaming is within the grasp of all 21st century opera companies. 

All these contributions – from partners of the project or other Opera Europa members – help us grow our library of performances, and feed into our resources with extracts, documentaries, interviews with artists… and open the door to opera for many audiences. Would you have anything to show?

And in case this article seems to be missing some critical self-assessment, the OperaVision has had one mishap in these opening months. A nameless national broadcaster in April managed to mix up the signal; and OperaVision viewers, expecting an opera, were treated to about 30 minutes of an opera talk show before the signal to the live production could be re-established. Not least this was a very uncomfortable 30 minutes for the platform’s project manager; never to be repeated as OperaVision looks ahead to attractive programme of live streams this summer.