Cultural Commons
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Cultural Commons

A New Perspective on the Production and Evolution of Cultures

Edited by Enrico Bertacchini, Giangiacomo Bravo, Massimo Marrelli and Walter Santagata

This compelling book offers a fresh and novel approach to study cultural and artistic expression from the perspective of ‘the commons’. It demonstrates how identifying cultures as shared resources is useful in eliciting the main factors and social dilemmas affecting the production and evolution of cultural expression.
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Chapter 12: Opera 2.0: Crowdsourcing the Stage

Alessandra Carbone and Michele Trimarchi


Alessandra Carbone and Michele Trimarchi 1 THE TWITTER OPERA AT THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE On September 4, 2009 a new opera was staged at the Royal Opera House (ROH) Covent Garden, in London. Its libretto was written by dozens of internauts twitting parts of the text and allowing the opera director Helen Porter to put the pieces together in order to build a plot combining music, acting and singing. Started on August 3, 2009, it was the first experiment of opera crafted by unknown, not necessarily literate people, and not known to one another, out of the traditional framework of commission and cooperation between a writer and a musician. The musical outcome was a mix between traditional and innovative music. The Twitter Opera was not an isolated initiative: the ROH is deeply engaged in the active exploration of Web 2.0, with more than 2000 followers on Twitter, and more than 18 000 friends on Facebook; over one million people regularly view the ROH YouTube channel. The project was launched as part of the ROH’s Ignite season to get more people involved in the creative side of opera. So the ROH invited contributions to the plot on its Twitter page, publishing them on its blog after providing the potential twitting contributors with the initial part of the opera’s plot, Act One–Scene One: “William is languishing in a tower, having been kidnapped by a group of birds who are anxious for revenge after he has killed one of their number. Hans...

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