Human-Scale AR ‘Tunnel Book’ Launches At Welsh National Opera
Free immersive pop-up blends AR technology with classic opera.
Available now for a limited time at the Wale Millenium Centre in Cardiff, Wales, A Vixen’s Tale is a location-based mixed reality experience that blends physical objects, AR visuals, and operatic sounds to envelop visitors in a unique narrative experience inspired by the Leoš Janáček’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen.
Developed for the Welsh National Opera by award-winning digital studio Arcade in collaboration with Belgian graphic illustrator Xavier Segers, the colorful installation is described by its creators as a human-scale sensory ‘tunnel book’ brought to life using smartphone-powered AR technology. Comprised of five independent arches, each structure features its own unique augmented reality interactions, visuals, and — of course, soundscapes; all of which culminating in a charming narrative set within a hidden world.
“We are thrilled to be working with WNO, who continue to set the benchmark for innovation in arts and culture,” said Jon Meggitt, Arcade CEO, in an official release. “A Vixen’s Tale is one of our most ambitious projects to date, and we can’t wait to see the effect it has on opera-goers old and new.”
“We’re hugely excited to be collaborating with Arcade on this exceptional project,” added David Massey, WNO Digital Producer. “Digital innovation is very much at the heart of many of our engagement projects. We hope A Vixen’s Tale will immerse and delight audiences of all ages, giving us the opportunity to explore new and exciting ways to tell stories infusing music, theatre and performance.”
A Vixen’s Tale, which launched earlier this month, is open free to the public now until October 25th at the Wales Millennium Centre from 12:00 – 17:00 on weekdays and 10:00 – 17:00 on weekends. The pop-up will open again October 28th to November 1st from 10:00 – 17:00 for a half term. The installation will be open to everyone over the age of five.
The hope, according to the Welsh National Opera, is that the free technology-centric pop-up will help the organization appeal to both long-time opera lovers, as well as a new generation of potential listeners. In the past, the organization — which is funded by the Arts Councils of Wales and England — have supported a variety of other immersive projects, including Freedom 360, Magic Butterfly, Rhondda Rebel, and WNO Field.
Most recently, the organization ran an immersive marketing campaign that had participants using a custom Snapchat lens to scan AR-enabled posters scattered throughout Cardiff, Wales.
Feature Image Credit: Arcade, Welsh National Opera, Xavier Segers