© Chiara Consolo


9-10 July 2019
In partnership with and at Accademia Teatro alla Scala, Milan/Italy

Adapting to the continuously growing digital realm can be a challenge for a traditional, live art form like Opera. However, it can also fuel a creative, vitalising re-imagination of the ways in which opera houses communicate + connect with their audience.

The IMZ Academy “Re-Imagining Opera for the Digital Age” looked at the opportunities + challenges offered by digital, online and social media for opera houses and was designed to help them identify and establish relevant strategies to promote and position themselves in the digital world. Together with an enthusiastic crowd of 23 participants from 18 renowned institutions, we looked into creative ways of communicating with opera audiences and examined possibilities + technologies in performance capture + streaming in order to reach + engage new audiences in an innovative manner.

The following expert speakers from the performing arts + media world shared their insights in a highly practical manner and covered artistic, as well as technical and financial challenges and examined best practice in performance capture, streaming, editorial curation and audience impact:

  • Peter Maniura, IMZ Academy Director, Project Director Classical Archive and Orchestras Digital Strategy at BBC Music, provides an overview of opera + media and presents specific case studies in the use of digital + social media.
  • Lanfranco Li Cauli, Marketing and Fundraising Director at Teatro alla Scala Milano, elaborates on the digital marketing and audience development strategy of one of the world’s great opera houses.
  • Eva Essvik, Head of Business Development at Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Mans Pär Fogelberg, Producer GSOplay at Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra present their successful approach of establishing digital channels to reach and engage new audiences.
  • Kriss Russman, EMMY-nominated, multi-camera Director and Filmmaker, shares his insights on multi-camera coverage in the digital age.
  • Richard Willacy, Executive Director at Birmingham Opera, presents his opera house's pioneering work in using media as a creative tool in making and disseminating opera.



Peter Maniura

IMZ Academy Director, Project Director Classical Archive and Orchestras Digital Strategy at BBC Music

Currently working on a major project to open up the BBC’s archive of Classical Music, Peter Maniura has also launched two new online arts services for the BBC in the past few years. In 2014 he was the Launch Director of BBC Arts Online, the live and on demand service which aggregates the BBC's Arts coverage across all its services and works extensively with partner organisations in the British arts sector. In 2012 he was the Curator of the new BBC/Arts Council England digital online arts service "The Space" which promotes digital innovation and creativity across the art forms. Prior to this he was Head of Television Classical Music and Performance for the BBC from 1998-2012, and has pursued an extensive international career as a TV director and producer.

Lanfranco Li Cauli

Marketing and Fundraising Director at Teatro alla Scala Milano

Since 2016 Lanfranco Li Cauli has been Marketing and Fundraising Director at the Opera House Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Italy. The renowned opera house has quickly answered to digital needs by adopting strategies that have helped increase awareness and enhance brand recognition and presence worldwide. The marketing and communication strategy has been developed through a marketing mix approach, combining both traditional as well as digital communication tools. Lanfranco Li Cauli is responsible for the audience development strategies and the relationship with Partners and Sponsors. Until 2015, he had filled the same position at Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Italy.

Eva Essvik

Head of Business Development at Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

Eva Essvik has been enjoying working as Audience and Business Developer for the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra ever since 2012: "New at work in 2012, I sat on the train and watched a concert with Christian Zacharias on GSOplay. I have always liked Piano Concerts. Sitting there I realised that saying I do or I don’t like classical music is like saying I do or I don’t like Italian food. There’s a variety from Parmesan to Tiramisu... Realizing that, I started to look at GSOplay as a menu for beginners and a great way for audience development. It’s an efficient way to find new audiences but also to please enthusiasts and share the moments with fans all over the world. Today GSOplay has 90 000 visitors each month and together with YouTube we have over 1,6 million views per year."

Mans Pär Fogelberg

Producer GSOplay at Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

Mans Pär Fogelberg has started his career at the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra as Audience Development Manager in 2007. In 2012 he became Producer for GSOplay, Gothenburg Symphony. In this position he has initiated Gothenburg Symphony's filmed concerts at gsoplay.com, investigated what technology should be used, set up the workflow and trained in-house staff. Mans is in charge of overseeing the whole process from planning to publishing and also acts as vision mixer/producer when live/recording and editor of video and sound in post-production. Prior to this Mans was responsible for the start of the first YouTube channel for an orchestra in January 2008 and worked as scriptwriter, editor and item producer for different TV shows in the cultural and entertainment segment of Sweden's public service television.

Kriss Russman

EMMY-nominated, multi-camera Director and Filmmaker

Kriss Russman is an EMMY-nominated, Royal Television Society (RTS) award-winning documentary and multi-camera director specialising in classical music broadcasts and recordings. He has made over 30 documentaries and filmed over 100 performances of concerts, opera, ballet, theatre and jazz for the major broadcasters worldwide (including BBC, Channel 4, ZDF, ARTE, NHK, PBS, WNET, RAI, DR, SVT, Medici, Bravo). His company Twelfth Year Digital Media (TYDM) makes documentaries and music performance recordings for international distribution. It also provides facilities and staff to broadcast live multi-camera events and advises on the installation of remote-control camera systems for the streaming of symphonic music and opera. Furthermore, Kriss is also a conductor and composer.

Richard Willacy

Executive Director at Birmingham Opera

Richard Willacy makes stuff happen. For over 20 years he has explored digital activity as a librettist, director, animateur, artist in residence, social activist, artistic assessor, fundraiser and producer of multi scale experimental music theatre, new writing and opera. His work spans diverse social, artistic and civic arena and engages a similarly broad array of funding delivery drivers. Digital lead for Birmingham Opera Company since 2005, he first joined as Associate Director in 2001 at the birth of the participatory model, became Associate Artistic Director in 2008, Executive Producer on the world premiere of Stockhausen’s Mittwoch aus Licht and Executive Director from 2014. Whilst the traditional opera experience can find itself bound by one physical and social space with a rigid institutional structure and linear mentality, wider 21 Century society is characterised by messy, social and digital flux. Birmingham Opera Company (Artistic Director, Graham Vick) strives to live in this world performing with diverse casts in non theatre spaces and delivering at the highest industry level recognised by Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Opera and Music Theatre 2012 and the International Opera Award for Best Production 2015.




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