Camerata In North East Digital Partnership

Posted on January 26, 2012

Manchester Camerata has joined forces with two other high profile Chamber orchestras as part of an unique scheme to make high quality orchestral music available to audiences across the North East of England. 

The scheme – led by the prestigious arts venue Sage Gateshead – was one of eight successful applications to gain funding from the new half a million pound fund set up by independent UK innovation body Nesta, Arts Council England and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. There were 500 applications in all.

Using the latest digital technology,  concerts given by Manchester Camerata, Northern Sinfonia and the Aurora Orchestra will be streamed to Alnwick Playhouse, The Maltings in Berwick and the Gala Theatre in Durham.

The idea is to bring classical music to audiences who find it difficult to get to orchestral concerts will be able to hear the concert and watch it on a big screen for a £5 ticket.  The concerts will also be available to view online for a limited period. For the project Sage Gateshead has linke dup with technology partners Aframe and Videojuicer to make the project work. As well as serving concert-goers, it will provide audience data that potentially could be shared with other arts organisations.

Bob Riley, Chief Executive, Manchester Camerata, said: “We’re delighted to be part of this extremely exciting and forward-looking digital venture. Manchester Camerata’s mission is to transform people’s lives through the inspirational power of live music, and this project will allow us to extend our reach to people who would otherwise have limited opportunity to experience the Camerata live.”

Aframe chief executive David Peto also welcomed the success of the application, saying: “It’s brilliant to see such an innovative project idea being recognised and granted funding.Pulling together the technical expertise of firms already entrenched in the video market and combining it with spectacular cultural content is a great way to add value to the arts community.”

Alnwick Playhouse is one of the venues to benefit from this exciting new project.  Jo Potts is the Arts Centre Manager.  “This is a very exciting project which will benefit our venue in a variety of ways including the development of new audiences for classical music concerts and enhancing our existing programme of live classical music concerts delivered by The Alnwick Music Society.  “The opportunity to work with the digital partners Aframe and Videojuicer is a key part of the project for the Playhouse as it will help us identify and implement the digital updates required to successfully deliver on this project.”  

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: “There is a huge amount of scope for bringing the innovative use of technology into cultural organisations. The number of applications for funding shows there is a tremendous appetite in the sector for digital innovation, with some very impressive and forward-thinking ideas emerging.  It is great to see the cultural sector looking forward and striving to be at the forefront of digital innovation.”

Manchester Camerata’s Portrait of Love concert on 28 April 2012 at 7.30pm – conducted by Gábor Takács-Nagy – will be streamed live to the Gala in Durham, with rebroadcasts on April 29 at The Maltings in Berwick, and on May 28 at the Alnwick Playhouse in Northumberland.