WASHINGTON, May 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As performing arts organizations worldwide struggle to schedule live performance seasons in the midst of a global pandemic, IN Series leads the charge onto the digital stage by programming an entirely virtual season of opera-theater, designed to be experienced from the comfort and safety of home. Announcing this dramatic innovation on the date originally slated for IN Series' annual gala, the enterprising company plans to roll out specific details of the season through the coming months, culminating in the unveiling of a Digital Opera House in July.
In a video statement released to patrons today, Artistic Director Timothy Nelson acknowledged the paralyzing uncertainty facing the performing arts, but stated: "This is a time for bold creativity, and above all else: optimism… We have taken the plunge and scrapped almost the entire season we had planned for next year – and not to do less, and not to do either what we already know or what is safe. Rather, we have thrown out what was our plan and instead furiously embarked on imagining a new season which responds to and is in conversation with our collective todays."
Calling to mind the company's mission and vision, Nelson stressed his commitment to accessibility and inclusion by announcing that the upcoming season would be offered free of charge. An opera house without walls, he proposed, will make this work "accessible to multitudes around the world in a way we could never have imagined before."
Emphasizing that "this will not be opera as usual, shrunk down to the small screen," Nelson enumerated the hallmarks of this unprecedented plan:
- A Virtual Opera House designed to showcase all the creative content the company plans to produce this season and beyond
- An Expanded Season modeled after the most popular streaming services. Rather than the company's typical six staged shows, IN Series plans to periodically release a minimum of twelve premieres, including feature-length films, opera-shorts, episodic series, and audio experiences in the style of radio plays,
- Technology as an Operatic Medium: virtual reality experiences, interactive opera inspired by gaming technology, and other 21st century content that is inspired creatively by older forms.
- Unexpected Collaborations with filmmakers, programmers, animators, movie theaters, radio stations and audio artists, dancers, singers, actors, writers, and creators both local and global.
- Subscriptions, available for purchase in June, will entitle the holder to early and extended access to all content, additional monthly concerts, access to live events and premiere parties when possible, and invitations to online artist receptions.
Nelson's message was overwhelmingly optimistic, revealing in this time of insecurity "a uniquely powerful moment to reach wider audiences and to make a difference in their lives." He ended by assuring audiences: "This fully digital season is a good thing. It allows us to expand our reach infinitely, sharing what we love, what moves us, what unites us, and who we are, with the broadest possible audience."
The full transcript of Timothy Nelson's statement; the video statement released to patrons
IN Series is the standard-bearer for innovative opera theater in Washington DC. Working with local artists and diverse communities worldwide to create novel works grounded in opera and song, we challenge and reimagine these forms, folding in an expanding range of aesthetic and cultural traditions.
Founded by Carla Hübner in 1982. Timothy Nelson assumed artistic directorship in 2018, quickly establishing the newly rebranded "IN Series" as DC's home for "Thought, debate, history, and innovation" (DC Metro Theatre Arts) in opera.
IN Series: Opera that speaks. Theater that sings. www.inseries.org
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