Esa-Pekka Salonen and Finnish National Opera and Ballet to create an immersive art piece

Picture of a conductor moving to four different positions
Esa-Pekka Salonen

Esa-Pekka Salonen, one of the world’s most recognised conductor and composers, known for his innovative collaborations – is launching a competition to create a new immersive experience – and you could collaborate with him.

Salonen, is working with the Finnish National Opera and Ballet, and one of Finland’s most famous musical artists, Paula Vesala. Together with the winner they will be producing an art piece utilising the newest immersive technologies. The piece, planned for festival circuit and international touring, will be premiering in Spring 2020.

How the audience will ultimately experience the immersive art piece has intentionally been left undefined and anyone can suggest a concept. The project, known as Opera Beyond, has opened a worldwide call for creative concepts in the search for talented artists and technologists.

The Opera Beyond competition invites creative teams and technological innovators to submit a concept in response to the brief which can be found on the website. Virtual or physical, the platform, medium, and technology are open to interpretation of the brief – it could be anything from a virtual reality game, interactive short film, audio-spatialisation, or anything else – but it will be realised as an immersive art piece that creates a participatory and immersive take on the Opera. The music will be composed and conducted by Salonen and it will be dramatized by Vesala.

The winning team will be chosen from the finalists at the First Session event in Helsinki, May 29th – 31st. Successful creators will continue to work in collaboration with the Finnish National Opera and Ballet to produce the piece for its appearance in 2020.

Esa-Pekka and Opera Beyond launch this competition in conjunction with the First Session conference which highlights and details the use of emerging technology as a tool and vessel for creating unparalleled experiences in live performances, stage arts, and behind the scenes (pre-)production. The full Opera Beyond program runs for 4 years and aims to inspire and create innovation and immersion within productions around the world, as well as on home ground in Helsinki.

More information on the project can be found on the website: