San Diego Opera: OPERA HACK


Opera Hack is a two-year project (July 2018 - July 2020) funded by an OPERA America Innovation Grant to discover new ways for technology to be used in the production and presentation of opera.

In year one (2018-19), we are gathering experts in theater and technology to form inter-disciplinary teams for a two-day hackathon (July 27 & 28, 2019). Teams will brainstorm and present innovative ideas to a panel of advisors, who will then choose up to five concepts for further development.

In year two (2019-20), a total of $40,000 will be dispersed to the selected teams to develop their respective concepts over the course of the following year (July 2019-Summer 2020). These teams will have an opportunity to present their winning concepts in their most completed form at a public event in Summer 2020 to demonstrate what recent technology can do for the music theater industry.

The goal of Opera Hack is to create a platform for theater innovation and provide resources for a limited number of ideas to be conceived. We do not expect “finished” products to be developed as the result of year two of Opera Hack. Rather, we aim to provide insight to where our industry could be headed by providing resources to creative thinkers in order to expand on thoughtful ideas.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet, collaborate, and work with like-minded creative experts from various professional backgrounds including: music, theater, and technology.

For Example: You’re a lighting designer and you choose to partner with someone in 3D printing. If your team comes up with an idea and budget that our advisory panel approves of, we’ll provide you with resources to develop a prototype for a public presentation. The public event in 2020 will be streamed and archived so that other artists and companies will have the ability to watch your presentation, and get in touch with you about future collaborations as well!

All artists/teams have ownership of their individual concepts. All participants will have the ability to take their ideas elsewhere.

If your idea doesn’t get selected: we would like to put all concept proposals on a database so that outside companies can have the opportunity to contact you about further development - but if you choose to keep your ideas private, we wish you well!

The advisory panel will choose between 40-50 people with experience in theater and technology to participate in Opera Hack. If you choose to apply as a team with your colleagues/friends, please limit your team to 3.

The Advisory Panel will carefully review all applications to ensure diversity is represented across technology and theater. All ages and experience levels are encouraged to apply.

Panel bios are at the end of this document.

Friday, April 15th, 2019.

Yes. We will provide a forum for participants to introduce themselves and form teams with others ahead of time.

We will encourage participants to use the online forum to communicate and form teams organically on their own prior to the event. For individuals who haven’t formed teams, the advisory panel will review do our best to pair participants with complementary backgrounds. Participants will be notified of their team members one week prior to the event. Changes to teams during the hackathon will be permitted. If two teams decide to work together on one idea, great! If individuals will be more successful as part of a different team, go for it!

Teams will be asked to create a written proposal of their concept, and include a sample budget for the initial costs of development.

The Advisory Panel will review all proposals and choose up to five concepts based on: clarity, scalability, and industry value. Winning ideas will be announced within one week following the hackathon.

Day 1: 9AM – 4PM
Ideation! Our priority will be guided, open brainstorming. We’ll have onsite technology like the Hololens and a 3D printer to give inspiration for creative thinking. For those older 21, we’ll continue our brainstorming at a nearby brewery.

Day 2: 10AM – 4PM
Finalize concepts; prepare and submit proposals. The advisory panel will be onsite to provide support and we’ll raffle prizes. Deadline for submitted proposals is 11:59PM on Sunday, July 28 2019.

Lunch will be provided on both days.

CHARLES MURDOCK LUCAS, member USA 829, is an international scene and media designer based in San Diego, California. Awards and honors include: scene design work exhibited in the Professional/Transformation Exhibit from the USA at the 2019 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, the Robert L.B. Tobin Director- Designer Showcase sponsored by OPERA America for production concepts for The Cradle Will Rock, the A. J. Fletcher Opera Fellowship in Scene Design at UNCSA, a nomination for the 2017 San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Awards for Theatrical Excellence for Outstanding Scene Design, and the USITT Scene Design Award sponsored by Rose Brand.

RYAN HUNT is a Lead Software Engineer with The Walt Disney Company. He has over 20 years of experience working with multimedia technologies including graphics engines, novel user interfaces, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. Much of his career has been in advertising and entertainment where he has focused on creating unique interactive experiences and solving problems in challenging domains like sound and gesture-based interfaces. Ryan has earned numerous awards for interactive design and programming, including a Clio Award for the 2004 Acura Interactive Showroom, and a Keyart Award for the online film site for Michael Mann‘s The Insider. hunt-8a49441/

ANNE E. MCMILLS is the Head of Lighting Design at San Diego State University. Her far-reaching career extends across the many facets of the lighting world—from theatre, including Broadway and the West End, to television and theme parks to architecture, industrials, concerts, award shows, dance, and opera. In addition to designing her own work, Anne has assisted many award-winning Broadway lighting designers, including Ken Billington, Brian MacDevitt, Howell Binkley, Peter Kaczorowski, Jason Lyons, David Lander, Brian Monahan, and others, as well as projections designer Elaine J. McCarthy. Anne has mounted productions in the United States, Japan, Australia, England, Scotland, France, and Germany. Anne is a proud member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829. In addition, Anne is the author of The Assistant Lighting Designer's Toolkit and 3D Printing Basics for Entertainment Design.

VICTORIA ROBERTSON is an opera singer, television producer, and virtual reality entrepreneur. She sang with the San Diego Opera for 12 seasons, produced a travel television series for AWE TV, and founded the virtual reality production company World Travel VR. In music, tech, and media, Victoria is known for putting together great teams and executing a variety of creative concepts digitally and live.

DR. CHRIS WARREN is a sound artist, signal processing researcher, and musical instrument inventor. Warren earned a Ph.D. in Computer Music from UC San Diego studying with Dr. Miller Puckette, author of the Max and Pure Data programming languages, and an M.A. in Music, Science, and Technology from Stanford University. He teaches sound design and digital composition at San Diego State University. His sonic installations have been featured at the Museum of Making Music, the Fleet Science Center, NAMM, and the Havana Biennial.

MATT WITKAMP, founder and CEO of Kampfire Studios LLC, has been advancing digital experiences for more than 20 years through UX and UI design for companies such as AT&T, T- Mobile, Siemens Medical, Intel, HTC, Comcast, and Stanford Medical. He is passionate about experience in all forms, both digital and non-digital, but his love of technology has lead him to design experiences and UI for everything from the days of DOS, to desktop, to mobile, to TV, to today’s emerging XR. Matt takes a multi-lens approach to leveraging design to realize business opportunities that takes into account not just the design and experience aspect, but also business drivers and market opportunities. Matt was involved early on with the HoloLens and was part of the team that brought x-ray vision to surgeons with Stanford Medical. Since then he has been striving to establish best practices around experience design for immersive technologies.

**VITA TZYKUN. Recent projects include set design for the critically acclaimed World premiere of the "(R)Evolution of Steve Jobs" at Santa Fe Opera, set and costume design for "Faust" at Lyric Opera of Chicago in collaboration with the acclaimed sculptor John Frame, costume design for the World premiere of "Dinner At Eight" at Minnesota Opera, and costume design for the Russian premiere of "The Passenger" at the Yekaterinburg State Academical Opera and Ballet Theatre, and at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.

Her numerous film and tv credits include art direction for "Lady Gaga’s ABC Thanksgiving Special, production design for several award winning feature films and shorts, and commercials for leading entities such as PBS, DirectTV, Axe, Bulova, and Qualcomm. Tzykun has also served as a panelist on the Opera Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts and taught as a guest lecturer at the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. In 2016, the International Opera Awards nominated Victoria Tzykun for Best Design.

**DAVID ADAM MOORE. With over 60 principal roles to his credit, David Adam Moore is a highly sought-after leading baritone by major opera houses and orchestras worldwide. A celebrated interpreter of contemporary music, he has created roles for some of today’s most important living composers. Also known for his work as a stage director, composer, and video designer, Moore co-founded two NYC-based arts collectives - GLMMR and Choreo Teatro. With GLMMR and his artistic partner, Vita Tzykun, Moore directed and designed the world's largest-scale production of Nyman's The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat for Indianapolis Opera, and designed sets, costumes, and projections for a new production of David T. Little's Soldier Songs at Atlanta Opera and San Diego Opera.

**- Honorary National Advisory Panel Members