Christopher Widauer was born in Salzburg in 1961. After 4 years as assistant lecturer at Salzburg University he moved into music management, working in Germany and Austria. As director for an international music festival he developed a ticketing software now serving in prestigious venues in the German speaking world.
Having run and internationally toured his Vienna based private theatre company, he joined Vienna’s City Commissioner for Cultural Affairs in 2010 as Head of Performing Arts Department, and developed a Digital Cultural Content Strategy on the basis of research on a global scale, deployed in close cooperation with BCG. In March 2013 he was hired by Dominique Meyer, General Director of Vienna State Opera, to develop and implement a digitalization boost. Until October 2013, he and his teams developed Vienna State Opera into a fully independent producer and distributor of payable high class full HD digital live and on-demand content.
Christopher Widauer was responsible for the design and setup of state of the art infrastructure – remote cameras, new audio and video studios, inhouse watermarking, encoding and transcoding technology -, the development of a complex software solution with backend, CMS, website, mobile and SmartTV Apps and synchronized Second Screen content, the recruiting and training of 20 new staff, as well as developing new workflows for all the concerned departments of the opera .
With staatsoperlive.com, Vienna State Opera succesfully aired the first UHD live stream in May 2014, and launched the first worldwide regular UHD live service in September 2015, having developed and installed the production and encoding technology inhouse as well.
For this cutting edge innovations in close cooperation with global market leading partners, Vienna State Opera was honoured with the prestigous IBC Special Award in Amsterdam in 2014, and the Austrian National Award for eMedia in 2015.
Opera 4.0 – Digital Stages for Opera and Concert. Development, Chances, Risks, Potential of the Internet for Cultural Venues.
During the past years, Vienna State Opera has been transformed into a fully independent producer and distributor of premium digital content, on the internet as well as for linear broadcast. Eight full-HD remote control cameras and a new state-of-the-art audio studio have been built in, staff recruited and trained, and all required equipment for live streaming implemented. Through its own live and on-demand platform staatsoperlive.com 45 of the annual 60 different opera and ballet productions are delivered to computers, mobile devices, SmartTVs, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV globally. Equipment and inhouse staff availability enable the production of all purpose live and on-demand video at very low cost, like social media, editorial and educational content as well as building up archives.
I will present the wide range of chances in producing digital content for all types of cultural institutions (opera houses, concert halls, orchestras, multipurpose venues etc) on all levels (local, regional, international, global), and discuss the involved workflows – rights management, video and audio equipment and capturing, recruiting and training of staff, backend and frontends for playout, and the potential for marketing, community building and monetization.