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Posted September 8, 2014

Connecting with fans of Lyric Opera: live translations, plus a raffle

Saturday September 6 was a perfect night for the Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park 2014. The weather was cool, calm, and dry (following a day of violent storms), and over 11,000 people showed up to fill the Great Lawn. A few thousand more tuned in by radio or via WFMT stream. The vocal fireworks were spectacular. And, from our perspective, everything fell into place and worked flawlessly.

We had been working with the Lyric Opera team for over a year to perfect a new web app that feeds English translations of performances in real time to your phone, tablet, or computer. The LyricOperaLive.org app grabs the translations as they are projected above the stage (whether at the Civic Opera House or, in this case, at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion) and pushes those translations out to fans far and wide — even around the world.

No other major opera house in the world has developed a similar system for converting their existing “supertitles” into a live web feed that anyone in the world can follow on any connected device.

It’s exciting new technology — software that makes a live opera performance accessible to everyone — and Jell has enjoyed collaborating on its development these past months with Will Raj (Director of Information Technology) and Alexandra Day (now Director of Communications and Marketing Strategy at The Juilliard School).

And what about that raffle we mentioned? It was yet another way for the marketing team at Lyric, under the direction of Lisa Middleton, to connect with their fans via the LyricOperaLive.org app. Audience members were encouraged to register for a chance to win free tickets, which were awarded every 30 minutes during the performance. That’s a very nice bonus for attending a free concert in the park!

Interested in trying out the system during a future performance? Follow Lyric on Twitter and Facebook to learn when the Lyric Opera will next go “live” on your mobile device.


The LyricOperaLive.org app was retired today after a great run — nearly three years! During that time, we helped update the app and monitor its usage during 30 premier performances simulcast by WFMT.