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Virtual Carmen
Virtual Carmen

The UK’s first ever virtual opera – a new version of Bizet’s Carmen – created and performed by over 250 children from Islington, London, was broadcast live on the net on 3rd July 2003, thanks to a £27,500 award from NESTA, (The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), the organization that champions UK innovation and creativity.

This new experience in interactive learning was the brainchild of Derek Smith, Director of King’s Cross Education Action Zone (KXEAZ) who brought in EPOC (English Pocket Opera Company as the appropriate artistic partners in this special learning experience. The real-time virtual opera was broadcast via laser beams across a broadband network and was watched on the web all round the globe from Kings Cross to Kentucky.

Derek Smith commented: The Zone's broadband network is a new and powerful tool, enabling the communities of King's Cross to work together in real-time from different locations. Thanks to NESTA, children can use their creativity to express themselves through a unique fusion of traditional operatic disciplines and cutting edge digital technologies and this is just the beginning - we very much hope that similar projects can be replicated elsewhere.