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2010 Event Media Release - Digital technology takes Sydney Opera House content beyond Bennelong Point

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Media Release: Friday 10th September 2010

Digital technology takes Sydney Opera House beyond Bennelong Point

A vision to take digital content beyond the confines of Bennelong Point is the driving force behind a range of technology initiatives at Sydney Opera House aimed to transform the way in which audiences can interact and engage with the global icon.

Informing the digital strategy are three key objectives – increasing reach and access to performing arts, artists and the House itself; encouraging community participation and engagement; and creating new models for the development and distribution of Sydney Opera House experiences through digital channels.

At the centre of the transformation is a new website - www.sydneyoperahouse.com  - featuring a vibrant interface and improved navigation along with increased video functionality, a dedicated video portal with exclusive interviews and performance footage, blogs written by the people who shape the artistic direction of the House and improved integration of social media content.

It also features the launch of the inaugural Sydney Opera House membership program, Insiders, providing loyal fans with a range of exclusive offers, events, and behind the scenes insights.

Chief Executive Richard Evans said that the transformation is part of a commitment to provide audiences with a Sydney Opera House experience wherever they may be.

“We recognise that we have the world’s greatest artists and thought leaders from all walks of life performing on our stages. It is our vision is to create a digital environment for people to experience and engage with them regardless of geographic or demographic constraints.

“Our website has been extremely successful in terms of ticket sales with 52% of all transactions online – a growth of 17% in the last two years.  This next generation of our website sees us moving beyond this purely transactional experience to one that is entertaining, immersive and interactive. ”

The new look for the website was created by Tequila TBWA with backend development provided by POP Interactive.  The ‘Play’ video portal was designed by Viocorp which will also host this site feature.

Viocorp CEO Ian Gardiner added, “We are delighted to be working with a globally renowned brand like Sydney Opera House. Viocorp's aim with the Play section of the site is to deliver a fantastic, rich video experience allowing visitors to experience the thrills of the House and its performances via the web.”

Tequila Managing Director Charles Clapshaw said, "It has been a fantastic opportunity to work with an icon such as Sydney Opera House.  It is an architectural wonder of the world, and a big stage to blur the line between real time/online performance and creativity, we look forward to continuing the journey.”

Sydney Opera House is committed to creating great online content.  It is a leading Australian brand in its approach to user generated content having recently hosted two online competitions – the GRAPHIC animation competition and the MyMutation dance competition, presented in partnership with YouTube and now in its second year. 

Both competitions have generated worldwide interest with Graphic receiving entries from 13 countries and more than 76,000 page views over the duration of the competition.  The current MyMutation competition has already received more than 50 entries from around the world and to date has had 18,000 page views from 60 countries.

Other major digital developments include:

• A partnership with Opera Australia and CinemaLive to enable the delivery of opera performances to cinemas and big screen venues around the world.
• A two year distribution deal with arts channel  STVDIO which will see Sydney Opera House provide performance related content and interstitials.
• A partnership with the Department of Education and Training (DET) to develop curriculum relevant digital content for schools in NSW. 
• A partnership with the ABC to broadcast Stephen Fry’s recent performance in the Concert Hall, which will also be released on DVD.
• A significant partnership with SONY Australia that will transform and modernise Sydney Opera House public spaces with new technology including digital content delivery, creating a more vibrant and interactive experience for our 7.4 million visitors each year. 

MEDIA
For further information and interview opportunities contact:
Steven Reilly /02 9250 7411 / 0434 148 504 / sreilly@sydneyoperahouse.com

About Sydney Opera House
In giving the world one of the 20th century’s greatest buildings, Jørn Utzon changed the creative and cultural landscape forever. Sydney Opera House is committed to continuing the legacy of Utzon’s creative genius by creating, producing  and presenting the most acclaimed, imaginative and engaging performing arts experiences from Australia and around the world -  onsite, offsite and online.

About Tequila TBWA
TEQUILA\ is a creatively led digital agency that entertains, excites and believes passionately in the power of interactive communications. We possess an unrivalled knowledge and understanding of the digital landscape as well as the ever-expanding array of beneficial technologies within it.  We are also one of the largest and oldest digital agencies in Australia, having started in 2002.  Part of the TBWA\ advertising group, and voted by Fast Company as one of the Top 25 most innovative companies in the world to work within, we provide local and international clients opportunities to maximise all opportunities presented by the digital arena.

About Viocorp
Viocorp operates in the provision of digital media products and services for the internet. Its Software-as-a-service (SaaS) intuitive applications offer affordable and flexible solutions for publishing and distributing media to viewers.

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