Seminar: Promoting Opera via Film and Internet (Prague, 2-3 October 2015)

IMZ’s (International Music & Media Center, Vienna, Austria) objective is to promote performing arts in audio-visual media and to foster the production and distribution of excellent art films all over the world. The quality of the programmes is important for a sustainable future the industry. IMZ Academy has the intention to offer everybody in the market the opportunity to learn from each other and to share best practice as well as lessons learned.



At International Television Festival Golden Prague

2 – 3 October 2015 · Prague · Czech Republic

IMZ’s (International Music & Media Center, Vienna, Austria) objective is to promote performing arts in audio-visual media and to foster the production and distribution of excellent art films all over the world. The quality of the programmes is important for a sustainable future the industry. IMZ Academy has the intention to offer everybody in the market the opportunity to learn from each other and to share best practice as well as lessons learned.

The IMZ Academy offers a series of highly practical workshops and seminars examining best practice in performance capture, the latest technologies in capture, streaming and editing, editorial curation, how to reach audiences, as well as business or financial models.

This year’s edition is focussing on opera covering all aspects of the visualisation of the art form: From performance capture – whether for television, cinema or online – to the contextualisation of performance and performers through factual content, archive and documentation.

Sessions include inter alia:

  • Storytelling in a digital environment
  • Deciding who your audience is and how you reach them
  • Broadcast streaming infrastructure in-house or not
  • Multi-camera performance capture
  • Low cost capture and editing technology
  • Live-streaming technologies
  • Editorial content beyond performance
  • Activating your artistic and editorial community


The sessions will be led by IMZ Academy director Peter Maniura (Head of Digital Development, BBC), with guest speakers giving the inside track on all the latest developments and technologies in the field including new digital platforms. The IMZ Academy is limited to 10-20 participants to ensure that every participant is fully involved during the practical sessions and gets detailed feedback on his or her learning process.


Pre-Registration is already open and the number of participants limited. We will accept applications following the motto first come, first serve.

Early Bird Rate (until 1 September 2015 + IMZ members) EUR 590,-*, Regular Rate EUR 690,-*

*plus tax


For any questions, further information and registration, contact:

Astrid Hafner-Auinger · · +43 1 889 0315 18


About the IMZ

The IMZ is a platform of 150 members / 1.500 individuals of the international cultural film community, dedicated to the creation and promotion of performing arts films. Music and dance on screen: Our diverse activities help producers, distributors, broadcasters, orchestras, opera houses, dance companies and many more to connect worldwide and foster business opportunities. Find out more about the IMZ membership!


How to engage people for classical music?

Most of the British orchestras have survived recents cuts. Some have shrinked the staff to fit. Work load is getting harder for those who are still on the job. Ulster Orchestra is in dire straits in these days. And there will be even more challenges in the future.

The Association of British Orchestras (ABO) tries to tackle this situation by launching a campaign with a fresh promotion video: Making everyday life special.

Problem of this video: Perhaps it is a German, Chinese or US orchestra playing Strauss “Zarathustra” on the recording. There is no real link to the UK or the UK orchestras in this video. It could be everywhere.

Finally, if you want to engage people for classical music via YouTube:  1. there should be more emotion, 2. a better story  and 3. a clear link to the UK orchestras for spreading the word getting the message going viral.

Czech Philharmonic announces new season with horror advert

Do you like this video? Would you like to visit a concert during 2014/15 season of Czech Philharmonic? Or even more: would you like to become a subscriber?


This promotion video of the Czech Philharmonic season 2014/15 is really “hardcore”: founded on the historical fact that Antonin Dvorak’s father was supposedly a butcher. However, do you see any aspect of the composer’s musical conditioning? Is this “too much” for an orchestra advert? Or is it just a shocking video which shall go viral to initiate discussions?

Multimedia: Topic trends for Orchestras on the internet

Social media – apps, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and many more – are no longer virgin soil for many orchestras and opera houses; or if they are, they will need to adapt, and fast.


Orchestras on the internet

Orchestras on the internet


These media will be key to keep old audiences and reach new ones, develop revenue streams and create powerful marketing opportunities. Digital Concert Hall of the Berlin Phil has been one of the most successful developments in this field (more than 600.000 “likes” on Facebook). But other orchestras are stepping forward, too. For example the Detroit Symphony claims itself with free webcasts as the “most accessible orchestra” in the world. At the same time, however, social media do have their pitfalls and follow their own rules that differ from print media or even Web 1.0 media. While aiming to convey spontaneity, they nonetheless require careful planning, and, as dialogic instruments, must be more than a platform to hand out information.

One has to look specifically at some cases of video trailers, from musicians’ home stories to sneak previews that whet viewers’ appetites for more. But caution: to be successful, media presentations have to be of solid quality – or risk ending up being well-meant rather than well-done. Some orchestras, such as the London Symphony Orchestra or the South Carolina Philharmonic, seem to be ahead in the game: often more relaxed and humorous, their tweets and Instagram posts present the ensembles as accessible and fun, successfully connecting with the mainly young users and dispelling the stuffy image of classical music.

The internet has also transformed ticketing. Booking a ticket has become possible from virtually anywhere, and it often allows a quicker and more convenient selection of seats. Even so, some teething problems remain: print@home tickets require scanner technology not every theatre can afford and the use of ticketing services, in Europe such as CTS Eventim, can increase prices.

Another popular tool is YouTube (for example the London Philharmonic Orchetra amongst many others) in particular. Orchestras reach out to audiences with an attractive age profile (mostly 13 to 35 years), increase the possibilities of direct communication as well as quantitative and qualitative audience research. Yet in Germany and many other central Euopean states hardly any orchestra fully utilises the potential of YouTube, typically offering only a small number of videos and neglecting feedback on user comments.

Intelligent advertising for orchestras?

An intelligent orchestra marketing strategy needs good content, a central idea and a powerful transmission of the core mission statement. TV or internet commercials on youtube are important parts of the campaign. This is at least simply an advertising business.

In practice you will find very often (funny) commercials for a special issue, the next season, a  new chief conductor or a special concert. Sometimes orchestras spend lots of bucks for those commercials. Before investing money, think on the strategy.

Find here a couple of interesting short videos from various orchestras…

The Stavanger Symphony (Norway) takes a wild parachute or man rocket ride at the mountainside for promoting its brand slogan with the music from Richard Wagner. But where is the inexchangeable icon? Where is the very special mission of this orchestra? You could put in almost every Norwegian orchestra or many other orchestras wordwide. Nice video, but where is the authentic message from the orchestra?

Another example comes from Nashville Symphony announcing a new chief conductor.  You see the conductor in several places downtown Nashville conducting traffic or fountains. The final message on his shirt says “I like Nashville!” Isn’t this a little bit too poor for introducing a new conductor to the local audience?

Third example: the Czech Philharmonic announces the 2012/2013 season. The orchestra is performing, jumping, throwing bowes, moving on the chairs, some wind players are playing more than one instrument simultaneously etc.  Again funny to watch, but what is the core message? Join our concerts, it’s all fun? This might be dangerous, because people sitting in the concert for the first time could shocked from a “real” orchestra concert, which is mostly not funny at all.

To sum up: 
Before you create commercial gimmick movies (which might be fairly o.k. for special purposes), think a little bit more on the core message and the orchestras brand in behind.

Classical Music in milk bottles?

The Concerthaus of Dortmund (Germany) is opening every season with a brand-new commercial. This time musicians enter a cowshed. They play for more and better milk. Get your Mozart in bottles!

Audience may purchase this special classical music milk bottles at the box office. Funny idea! Find the short trailer here. After this click the extended version.