25th – 26th May 2020
The Finnish National Opera

Ready to be shaken, stirred and surprised? We promise to inspire you. 

The Opera Beyond Conference is a new and creative meeting place, a playground in the overlapping territory between arts and technology. 

It’s a fountain of new ideas and knowledge for professionals, creators, artists and enthusiasts of all media and arts. The event will explore technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, projection mapping, and spatial sound – the very latest in audio, visual, and spatial art.

World-leading arts and technology wizards and visionaries will come together at the Opera House in Helsinki for a two-day seminar of keynote speeches, fireside chats, inspiration and knowledge-sharing. We promise both ample opportunities for networking and a rich array of exciting ideas to take home with you. 

Already confirmed visionary keynote speakers are Head of Digital Development for the National Theatre in London Toby Coffey, award-winning AR+VR storyteller Lucas Rizzotto, researcher and designer Joris Weijdom and the Director of the Amos Rex art museum Kai Kartio. More speakers will be announced later.

The Opera Beyond Conference First Session in spring 2019 was the start of an unstoppable tidal wave. The upcoming conference from 25 to 26 May 2020 will be even bigger.

Book your ticket now and step beyond the ordinary.

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Annette Mees

Annette Mees is the Head of Audience Labs at the Royal Opera House in London, a new department which will be experimenting with immersive technology opening up new experiences for audiences. She was a Creative Fellow of WIRED magazine and The Space, the guest artistic director of the Danish Inspiration Lab, and started her career as co-artistic director of interactive theatre company Coney.

Domhnaill Hernon

Domhnaill Hernon is an award-winning technology, innovation and creativity executive. He is Head of Experiments in Arts and Technology (E.A.T.) at Nokia Bell Labs. Domhnaill received an undergrad in

Ekho Collective

Ekho Collective is a group of artists, designers and technology professionals, who specialise in immersive art.

Joris Weijdom

Joris Weijdom is a researcher and designer of theatrical experiences using mixed reality technology. He is the founder of the Media and Performance Laboratory (MAPLAB), which from 2012 to 2015 enabled practise-led artistic research on the intersection of performance, media and technology. He thinks that sharing ideas and concepts through ‘sketching’ in an interactive mixed-reality environment is a powerful and effective approach for creative research, design and development.

Kai Kartio

Kai Kartio is the director of the Amos Rex art museum, which opened in 2018 to widespread attention. The exhibition programme of Amos Rex combines contemporary art that makes use of experimental technology, 20th century modernism, and the art of ancient cultures. Kartio envisages a world in which art and gaming collide. He is convinced that masters like Leonardo da Vinci or Giulio Romano would have been greatly fascinated by virtual reality.

Kalle Rasinkangas

Kalle Rasinkangas is a media artist and sound designer working mostly with interactive art. His work consists of virtual reality art, spatial installations, sound installations and performances.

Lilli Paasikivi

Lilli Paasikivi is the Artistic Director of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet and an opera singer. Mezzosoprano Lilli Paasikivi has performed throughout her career on the leading opera and con

Lucas Rizzotto

Lucas Rizzotto was born in Brazil and, in his own words, grew up on the internet. He is a young and innovative advocate for augmented and virtual reality and the use of technology in storytelling. Rizzotto has, for instance, created the impressive and dreamlike virtual reality experience Where Thoughts Go, which has won multiple awards.

Luke Halls

Luke Halls is an award-winning video designer, who has created video designs, animations and projections for a wide variety of music, theatre and dance performances.

Markus Noisternig

Markus Noisternig is working on connecting experimental music and scientific research with immersive 3D sound. He is widely acclaimed for his work at the crossroads of artistic creativity and scientific research. As an artist and electronic music performer he has collaborated with several well-known avant-garde composers and bands. He currently works in Paris as a researcher at the IRCAM-institute focused on electro-acoustic avant-garde music.

Samantha King

Sam is currently the Senior Producer of Audience Labs at the Royal Opera House, an innovation initiative bringing together pioneering artists and next generation technology to create boundary-breaking contemporary opera and ballet experiences.

Toby Coffey

Toby Coffey is Head of Digital Development for the National Theatre in London where he focuses on developing forms of digital engagement and interaction around the NT and its repertoire of productions. In 2016 he established their Immersive Storytelling Studio to examine how Virtual Reality, 360° film, Augmented Reality and other emerging technologies can widen and enhance the NT’s remit to be a pioneer of dramatic storytelling and to enable an audience to stand in the shoes of another.

Opera Beyond x Nokia Bell Labs

In collaboration with the Opera Beyond, the global research and development laboratory Nokia Bell Labs is launching its first ever artist-in-residence programme in the Nordic countries, with the media artist Kalle Rasinkangas as the region’s first guest artist.

As a member of a community of top-tier researchers, Kalle will be able to make the most of Nokia Bell Labs’ advanced technology at its studios in Finland. He will be working on an interactive installation, which will be showcased to you at the conference.

Proudly premiering Laila

Laila, an interactive work by composer Esa-Pekka Salonen, dramaturg Paula Vesala and Ekho Collective will premiere in June. Before the big night, you'll experience a preview of it at the Conference.

Get a feel of the First Session: 2019 speakers and programme