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Classical Notes

What opera characters need Google Glass?

Posted at 11:20 AM on July 2, 2014 by Jay Gabler
Filed under: Opera

Google Glass 2.jpg

Wolf Trap Opera of Vienna, Virginia has announced that at a July 25 production of Carmen, tech journalist David Pogue will be onstage as a supernumary (a non-singing chorus member), using Google Glass "to capture brief bits of the onstage action. His short video clips and still photography will be shared to Wolf Trap's online and social properties in near real-time, providing a 'second screen' experience and offering a unique perspective of the onstage action at the Filene Center."

If this experiment is a hit with audiences, what's next? Here are a few of my own ideas:

• Outfit John the Baptist with Google Glass in a production of Salome, allowing the audience to look straight into the aroused eyes of the distraught antiheroine while she sings to the prophet's disembodied head.

• Broadcast a live video feed from a Google Glass headset worn by Despina in Così fan tutte, subtitled with what the maid is actually thinking about the onstage shenanigans. ("These jerks deserve each other.")

• Put Google Glass on a soprano singing the role of Aida, and allow audience members to use a hashtag to give her feedback in real-time. ("That last aria was a little pitchy." "Maybe move a few steps downstage to heighten the drama in this next scene.")

• One word: Valkyriecam™.