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Opera for Everyman European Commission-Sponsored Open Drama Consortium Premieres “Opera for Everyman”
Multimedia Opera Platform for the 21st Century debuts today on the Eutelsat W3 Satellite throughout Europe, Middle East, North Africa and the Caucuses

23 April 2004, Luxembourg

The OpenDrama consortium, sponsored within the framework of the European Union's Information Society Technologies (IST) Programme, announced the first review of the OpenDrama platform on the premises of the European Commission in Luxembourg.

“As of today, Opera has a new public. It is ‘Everyman’. It is being brought about by ‘Opera for Everyman’, the Multimedia Platform for the 21st Century, conceived, designed and implemented by the European Commission-sponsored Open Drama consortium.” With these words, Gabriele Scali, Project Leader of the Open Drama Consortium kicked off the Premiere of “Opera for Everyman” on the Eutelsat Multimedia Satellite W3 across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the Caucuses at a debut event in Luxembourg today.

The “Open Drama” platform, the result of two years work by a ten-member, four-nation consortium, features musical streaming with plot visualization, real-time display of score and libretto, 3D virtual staging, access to background information and karaoke, all within the frame of an advanced community service. In addition, it provides the digital music market with innovative content and with a set of integrated solutions for advanced publishing, entertainment and audio-visual on-demand services. It is delivered on broadband Internet and complementary media (primarily DVD disks, and in perspective on ATVEF interactive TV, DAB radio and DVB broadcasts).

Symbolically, the Open Drama Premiere took place in Luxembourg City, initial home of Europe’s first private and popular multi-lingual, trans-border broadcaster, Radio-Tele Luxembourg. The first productions realized with the “Opera for Everyman” Open Drama Multimedia Platform are now being transmitted on the Eutelsat Multimedia W3 satellite across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the Caucuses not only directly to satellite dish enabled homes, but also to Cable TV and DSL Head-ends for mass-consumer consumption.

“The ‘Opera for Everyman’ Multimedia platform is an ingenious, real-time presentation of the entire multi-dimensional world of opera, made incredibly accessible simultaneously to opera neophytes and opera buffs at the same time,” said Sarah Beecham of Opera North, one of two opera companies participating in the consortium.

“Imagine being able to watch and listen to a High-Fidelity audio-visual production of an opera and simultaneously follow the musical score, the libretto in the language you desire and a 3-D visualization of the plot, all in synch throughout the entire opera,” declared Phil Kerr of Glasgow University. “This is exactly what the ‘Opera for Everyman’ Multimedia Platform now allows everyone, be they amateur or professional, to do,” said Ric Green of Dynamic S.r.l. “‘Opera for Everyman’ is one instance where ‘being digital’ is not a question of “digital divide’ but rather of ‘digital union, ’” concluded Candace Johnson of Europe Online, all speakers being Open Drama consortium members.

The “Opera for Everyman” Multimedia Platform is available immediately to all opera, broadcast, internet and production companies, as well as educational and multimedia organizations. It is being and marketed by the four commercial members of the Open Drama Consortium, Space S.p.A., Europe Online Investments S.A., Dynamic S.r.l., and System Simulation, Ltd.

For more information, please contact:
Candace Johnson
Europe Online Investments S.A.
Tel. +352 719 785 1
Fax. +352 710 787

About the Open Drama Consortium:
The project aims at the definition, development and integration of a novel platform to author and to deliver rich cross-media digital objects of lyric opera and other vocal dramatic music, opening this heritage to a dimension of learning, exploring and entertainment. It will provide the digital music market with innovative content for advanced publishing, entertainment and audio-visual on-demand applications.

Features match musical streaming with
  • plot visualisation
  • real-time display of score and libretto
  • illustration of musical structures
  • 3D virtual staging
  • background information
  • collaborative creation
  • karaoke.
OpenDrama enables the online enhanced interaction of users with rich and adaptive cultural objects on broadband Internet and complementary media (ATVEF interactive TV, DAB radio, DVB broadcasts, DVD disks). Research and integration encompass the standards-based management of rich media combinations, information visualization and integrated production workflow.

The Members of the “Open Drama” Consortium
Space S.p.A. (Italy)
Teatro del maggio Musicale Fiorentina-Fondazione (Italy)
English Opera North (United Kingdom)
Ministero per I Beni e le Attivitŕ Culturali – discoteca di Stato (Italy)
Dynamic S.r.l, (Italy)
Politecnico di Milano – HOC Hypermedia Open Center (Italy)
The University of Glasgow- Center for Music Technology (United Kingdom)
Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Spain)
Europe Online Investments S.A. (Luxembourg)
System Simulation Ltd. (United Kingdom)

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