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Opera Hack 1.0 (2018-2020)

Led by Project Director Angel Mannion, and San Diego Opera (SDO)’s General Director David Bennett the first OPERA HACK was held in 2018 with support from an OPERA America Innovation Grant, bringing together a diverse group of experts from theater and technology to brainstorm and develop new ideas to enhance the building blocks of opera. Forty multidisciplinary artists, designers, and engineers came together in San Diego, CA in July, 2019 and a total of $40,000 was awarded to three winning teams to support the research and development of their ideas. For the results of the first OPERA HACK, visit the Results page.

Opera Hack 2.0 (2020-2021)

We were honored to receive another Innovation Grant, which allowed us to apply learning from the first OPERA HACK to further identify and address some of our industry's most important problems with new technologies. 

In OPERA HACK 2.0, we:
1) Conducted an industry-wi
de survey to identify challenges currently facing our industry.
2) Held an online, international hackathon to discover technological solutions for the identified challenges.
3) Awarded $15,000 in total to up to (3) three innovative proposals for solutions to these challenges.
4) Provided an online platform to host all proposals (with permission) so that companies may contact the creators for further development.

The results of this survey were used to identify challenges that our hackathon participants were given for our month-long event (June 4 - July 2, 2021).

Opera Hack 3.0 (2022)

Opera Hack returns for a third upgrade as an all-online international event!

OPERA HACK is made possible by an OPERA America Innovation Grant, supported by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. 


To be a platform that embraces diversity and solves problems by combining expertise 

from all backgrounds of theater and technology.


To discover new methods for technology to be used in the production and  presentation of music theater.


To promote new ways to make all forms of theater more exciting, affordable, and environmentally sustainable.





General Director, San Diego Opera

David Bennett is the General Director of San Diego Opera. Under his leadership since 2015, the Company has embarked on a series of community based initiatives including a citywide Listening Tour series, free public performances, and family friendly operas to better serve the diverse San Diego region. In 2016, the Company debuted its wildly popular dētour Series, which explores the expressive nature of opera with the potency of intimate theater

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Project Director, Opera Hack

Scenic & Media Designer

Charles Murdock Lucas, member USA 829, is an international scene and media designer based in San Diego, California. Awards and honors include: scene design work exhibited in the Professional/Transformation Exhibit from the USA at the 2019 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, the Robert L.B. Tobin Director- Designer Showcase sponsored by OPERA America for production concepts for The Cradle Will Rock, the A. J. Fletcher Opera Fellowship in Scene Design at UNCSA, a nomination for the 2017 San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Awards for Theatrical Excellence for Outstanding Scene Design, and the USITT Scene Design Award sponsored by Rose Brand.

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CEO, Heavenue / Agile Lens

Architect turned XR-chitect, Alex has been crafting theater (and theaters!) for over a decade. A consummate adopter of emerging tech, in 2013 he brought virtual reality to Fisher Dachs Associates to help design venues around the world. This led to helping venues previz live shows with VR, such as Kenneth Branagh's Macbeth (2014). In 2016 Agile Lens opened in NYC as a full-service XR studio. In 2018, Agile Lens oversaw a wide-ranging study of effective live VR performance, the results of which led to collaborations on several pieces, including the Venice Biennale’s first live VR show viewable around the world, Loveseat (2019), as well as the ongoing live VR theater festival, OnBoardXR (2020-Present). Alex's newest venture, Heavenue, is a platform to immerse audiences interactively in high-fidelity live performances through cloud technology. The first production was Christmas Carol with Actors Theatre of Louisville in December 2021.

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Director of Digital Development

Royal Shakespeare Company

Sarah Ellis is an award-winning producer currently working as Director of Digital Development for the Royal Shakespeare Company to explore new artistic initiatives and partnerships. The latest partnership for the RSC is the Audience of the Future Live Performance Demonstrator funded by Innovate UK - a consortium consisting of arts organisations, research partners and technology companies to explore the future of performances and real-time immersive experiences.

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Co-Founder, Artistic and Executive Director

Opera on Tap

ANNE HIATT is Co-Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of the national organization Opera on Tap, which has the vision of making the drama, beauty, and exhilaration of opera truly accessible to new communities everywhere.
With over 16 years of experience in non-profit management, development and opera production, she currently oversees the programs, and operations of 25 Chapters of Opera on Tap across the nation and world and has acted as executive producer of Opera on Tap’s major new works programs since 2012. She currently oversees the development of The Immersive Opera Project which marries opera and tech industry partners in the creation of new immersive works of opera utilizing emerging technologies.
Under Anne’s leadership, Opera on Tap has grown into a large national network of artist-entrepreneurs, performers, creators, supporters and audiences. It has gained international recognition as an innovative force on the classical music scene with features in such media outlets as The NY Times, NPR All Things Considered, The Wall Street Journal, NY1, USA Today, NHK/ Japan National Public TV, Tagesspiegel, The NY Daily News, WNYC, Boston Globe, Chicago Today, Chicago Reader, the LA Times, LA Weekly, and Seattle Weekly among many others.

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Virtual Production Producer

Lux Machina

Sheiva Khalily joined Lux Machina Consulting in 2018 as a Virtual Production Producer. She received her B.A. in Theatre from UCLA and immediately began working as a freelance projection designer in opera and theatre. Sheiva worked for the Shanghai Disney Resort as a technical specialist before joining Lux Machina where she has worked as a producer on the award-winning League of Legends: Worlds 2020 E-sport event. More recently she led the team designing and installing the Virtual Production facility at Dexter Studios in South Korea and she regularly manages the virtual production elements of Broadcast and Film projects.

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Composer/Sound Artist, Designer

Sadah Espii Proctor (she/her/Espii) is a composer, sound artist, and designer working in theatre, dance, installations, and immersive experiences. Broadway: Trouble In Mind (assistant sound designer). Off- Broadway: sandblasted (Vineyard/WP Theater), Is There Still Sex In the City? (Daryl Roth). Regional: The Gradient (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis). Installation: Soul Tree Forest (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts), public/private (New Museum), I Have a Door Up There (Harvard TDM), and Is There Still Sex In the City? (Daryl Roth). She is an alumna of Virginia Tech and a proud graduate of Virginia Tech.

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CEO, Odeon Theatrical

A 25 year veteran of the immersive entertainment industry, Stephanie has worked in leadership positions across VR, AR, Experiential, Theater, and Theme Parks. Previously: Vice Media, Disney Imagineering, and multiple XR start-ups. Co-Founder: Odeon Theatrical, World Experience Organization, 5th Wall Forum.

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Director, Freelance

Acclaimed as a director of “particular ingenuity,” Jennifer Williams has created innovative productions worldwide. Praise for her multi-media approach to opera has been effusive, and her extraordinary vision yields indelible results. Site-specific and immersive productions have been a recent hallmark of her work, distinguishing Williams as an artist who thrives on the unexpected. Her unique presentations have taken her to prestigious venues throughout Europe, Asia, South America, and North America, at such theaters as the Deutsche Oper, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Freespace, San Francisco Opera Center, The Glimmerglass Festival, Detroit Opera, Austin Opera, and Beth Morrison Projects. Trained in directing at CCM, Merola and SITI Company with Anne Bogart, Williams is a Fulbright Scholar and holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University and an A.B. with honors from the University of Chicago. Artist appears courtesy of Insignia Artists.


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