Crowdsourcing in Culture Production
Case Opera by You

Saturday 21th July 2012
13 p.m. - 15 p.m.
Location: Fringeklubi, Kalmarinkatu 10, Savonlinna



Moderator Pauli Aalto-Setälä (CEO, Aller Media Finland)

Opera by You. The first ever opera made by an internet community.
Why and how was it done?

  • Jan Hultin, General Manager,  Savonlinna Opera Festival
  • Opera by You Operative Group
    • Markus Fagerudd, Composer
    • Jere Erkkilä, Stage Director
    • Iida Hämeen-Anttila, Scriptwriter
    • Samuli Laine, Visualist
    • Jukka Pohjolainen, Head of Production, Savonlinna Opera Festival
    • Päivi Salmi, Project Manager, Savonlinna Opera Festival
    • Nancy Somerville, Opera by You –community member
    • Enrico de Zottis, Opera by You –community member
Panel discussion: How have your organization utilized crowdsourcing
and how do you evaluate Opera by You -project?

  • Peter Vesterbacka, Mighty Eagle & CMO, Rovio
  • Pia Erkinheimo, Head of Crowdsourcing, Nokia
  • Timo Vuorensola, Director, Blind Spot Pictures
  • Päivi Salmi, Project Manager, Savonlinna Opera Festival

What’s it all about?

  • Free Will is an opera about the fight between good and evil. Cast in the leading roles are Mozart, Oscar Wilde, Joan of Arc and Ms. Lucifer.
  • The libretto, music, costume and stage designs for Free Will are the work of a worldwide “Opera by You” online community of over 400 people.
  • Free Will is to be performed in Olavinlinna Castle as a Savonlinna Opera Festival production on July 21

On May 6, 2010 the Savonlinna Opera Festival invited the whole world to take part in the creation of a new opera. Accompanied by tremendous international media coverage, more than 400 people in different parts of the world registered for a project called Opera by You, the aim of which was to create a new opera. Thus began a venture lasting over two years in the Opera by You community, operating on the Wreckamovie platform. The progress of the project has been followed from tens of thousands of IP addresses.

The title arrived at in an online poll was Free Will, and a story about three geniuses sent by God to save the world began to take shape. A steering group of operatives (composer Markus Fagerudd, librettist Iida Hämeen-Anttila, stage director Jere Erkkilä, stage and lighting designer Samuli Laine, costume designer Essi Palo, head of productions Jukka Pohjolainen and project manager Päivi Salmi) gave the community tasks and instructions, first for a libretto based on the story, then for the music. The next stage comprised visualisation, direction planning and marketing ideas.

The climax of the project – the rehearsal period in Savonlinna and the first actual performance – is still yet to come. Members of the worldwide community can, with the help of an on-the-spot online assistant at the rehearsal, communicate over the direction, give the director suggestions and follow the final moments in the run-up to the premiere.

July 21, 2012 will be a historic day in global operatic art. For on that day the world’s first online opera, Free Will, is to be premiered. The thoughts, ideas and plans of the international online community will become flesh and blood, drama, music and a story on the stage of Olavinlinna Castle. It is infinitely exciting to see what sort of opera results from this new composition process.



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