Eight high schoolers help to create a fully formed virtual performance.
While opera might be bursting with culture and emotion, it is often seen by current generations as a relic from the past. To prove that’s not the case, a collection of university and high school students have banded together at Virginia Tech University to create a completely original opera that will be set to the works of Mozart and take place within the worlds of Minecraft.
Ariana Wyatt, an assistant professor of voice at Virginia Tech, said she came up with the idea when trying to figure out how to engage students in opera. “How do you engage teenage boys into wanting to create an opera,” she told Polygon. “I don’t think if you go into a classroom and say, ‘Let’s go make an opera,’ many people would respond.”
She recruited eight high school students earlier this year to start work on the fully produced virtual opera. They began with music borrowed from Mozart’s operas, and were asked to create a story and dialogue before crafting a virtual environment inside Minecraft.
The final piece will be performed in December with a live performance at the university’s Cube space at the Center for the Arts. Virginia Tech music majors will sing the score and the students will act out the parts with avatars in the world they created.