About the Agile Opera Project

The Agile Opera Project is a partnership between Chamber Made and RMIT University. It has developed collaborative research techniques, produced digital iterations of live performance works, and explored digital platforms to support the production of chamber opera—preserving and extending the quality of intimacy essential to this performance form—in an evolving digital marketplace.

The Agile Opera Project commenced in 2013, with the support of an ARC Linkage grant. It aims to advance a new type of integrated performing arts company by:

  1. researching and transforming the intellectual, artistic and social capital of a contemporary performing arts company via a series of interdisciplinary microlabs;
  2. researching and developing new physical and virtual platforms for the sustained delivery of chamber opera in the 21st Century, and;
  3. discovering new modes of interaction between an Australian contemporary performing arts company and national and international sectors that return value.

Research Partners

  • Chamber Made
  • RMIT University
  • Australia Research Council
  • Fed Square Pty Ltd
  • Australia Council for the Arts

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Preserving and amplifying chamber performance

The Agile Opera Project is concerned with preserving and amplifying the essential nature and aesthetic values of chamber performance within the context of an evolving digital marketplace and networked world. It responds to pressures exerted on small-to-medium arts companies by short-term economic imperatives which threaten the risk and experimentation that characterises contemporary chamber performance.

An holistic approach to research

The Agile Opera Project adopts a ‘whole of company’ approach to research collaboration with industry partner, Chamber Made, ensuring research outcomes align with the company’s varied needs—as an organisation producing art, as a business, and as a company in constant dialogue with its audience. Chamber Made’s annual program of creative work is integrated within the project in an holistic manner, and augmented with focussed activities exploring digital applications to support it.

Four key components have emerged through this process: Digiworks (unique forms of digital iteration), Microlabs (research methodology), Agile Chambers (a week-long exhibition of performance and research) and a digital platform (tools to support the creation of digital iterations).

Photo credit: Pier Carthew

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