Opéra National de Paris is set to bring new works onto a digital stage

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In a recent article for the New York Times, Benjamin Millepied, Director of Dance at the Opéra National de Paris, and Stéphane Lissner, General Manager, announced the launch of an online platform named 3e scène. This fall, 3e scène—or third stage as it translates to English—will be added to the organization’s impressive pair of performance venues, the Palais Garnier and Opéra Bastille, as a third space for patrons to enjoy new opera and ballet works. 

The platform will showcase new works by directors, choreographers, filmmakers, visual artists and writers for the Opéra National de Paris. As Benjamin Millepied explained in the New York Times interview, he and Stéphane Lissner, “…want to build a platform that creates [the Paris Opera’s] own content and provides a way to look at work coming from [the Paris Opera] without being in the actual building.” The platform aims to be a home for new content and audience engagement.

 Jacob's Pillow | Dance Interactive

Jacob's Pillow | Dance Interactive

Other major arts organizations have pursued similar digital stages. In 2011, Jacob’s Pillow launched the Dance Interactive. As the Washington Post described it, “Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive [is] perhaps the closest thing the dance world has to an online museum… A priceless treasury of history and art.” The platform, a carefully curated presentation of the Pillow’s vast video archives, has allowed dance enthusiasts from around the world to experience the Pillow from their homes. 

 Opéra National de Paris | VidéOpéra

Opéra National de Paris | VidéOpéra

However, unlike the Pillow’s Dance Interactive, 3e scène is said to feature primarily new works. Currently, the Opéra National de Paris has a robust website complete with a VidéOpéra page featuring curated video footage of performances, interviews, rehearsals, and production, dating back to the 2009-10 season. Rather than simply expanding this existing feature, 3e scène offers something new.

Although very few details have been released on the exact nature of the new digital platform, Mr. Millepied’s involvement with film and digital content creation may serve as an indicator for what is to come. In 2012, he co-founded the Amoveo Company, an artist collective producing projects in film, television, technology, and live events. Since then, he has directed a number of short films with artists such as Philip Glass, Lil Buck, and Mark Bradford. His most recent short film, Reflections, was created as a response to his choreography of the same name, which he created for his company, the L.A. Dance Project, in 2013. The short film uses the original score by David Lang and choreography my Benjamin Millepied; yet, it stands-alone as a piece of art. Filmed with a backdrop of iconic LA landmarks, it leaves the stage and becomes a love letter to the city, as described by Nowness. Might this be the direction taken for 3e scène? Could it be a parallel platform with new digital works that grow out of the works performed on stage? While nothing is certain, the launch is certainly something to look out for this fall.

Amoveo Company | Reflections