The aesthetic depth in this new genre, virtual opera, facilitates the use of musical and visual techniques often excluded from a traditional opera production. For example, the use of computer animation has truly opened up a new direction for musical theater, one that was previously the sole province of film and television producers. Given the influence of cinema on twentieth and twenty-first century viewers, these influences can only help to draw and maintain audiences for new offerings growing out of the musical form traditionally known as “opera”. It is an influential, entertaining, and emotionally rich form of art that needs and deserves to regain its prominence in our culture.
In JR Wilson’s new virtual opera production, “The Avatar”, the composer used two advanced software technologies – the use of a sophisticated video editing software package, “Vegas Pro”, and a Digital Audio Workstation software package, called “Cubase Pro 11”, is used for computer assisted composition and sound production. This paper presents the argument for the continued support and growth of this exciting new genre and for the use of readily available computer technology in the service of operatic music production.