The pandemic will end one day, but we will no longer make a cultural comeback without also talking about the dissemination of concerts and shows on the internet. More than a lifeline, webcasts are beginning to be seen as an opportunity.
There is nothing “natural” about presenting a symphonic concert on the Internet, recognizes Martin Hudon, director, marketing and communications, at the Orchester Métropolitain (OM). You can’t compare what you experience in a venue like the Maison symphonique to what you feel in front of a screen. “It will never replace the indoor experience, he agrees, but there may be something to keep and develop [des concerts virtuels]. ”
OM, which has just launched another segment of online programming, has experimented and learned a lot from the possibilities offered by audiovisual recordings. The staging of his concerts has been refined since the spring: the positioning of the cameras maximizes proximity with the musicians, gives new points of view (see Yannick Nézet-Séguin directing from the front, for example) and allows the soloist facing the orchestra, which “strikingly” promotes communication between the two, according to Martin Hudon.
I don’t have a crystal ball, but we will have to live with the fact that the internet and new technologies are going to be part of the ways of consuming culture. The pandemic started that.
Suzanne Richard, production manager at Québec Issime
Last spring, when Quebec was put on hiatus, turning to the Internet – in particular social networks – was a reflex for many organizations and artists. A Facebook Live performance was as much a way to do good as it was to keep in touch with your audience. However, over time, offering a digital version of a work has become one of the rare ways to exist, even for major events.
Almost a year after the first confinement, virtual shows are no longer improvised. Beyries’ colorful Carte Blanche, offered since January 15, has for example benefited from careful staging and production. And it works.
Beyries should have performed at the Cinquième Salle of Place des Arts, which accommodates a maximum of 450 spectators. However, she had sold more than 2,000 tickets on Monday, according to her manager, Emmanuelle Girard. “And the concert is still offered until Saturday,” she said.
Quebec Issime hoped to sell between 3,000 and 4,000 tickets for the viewing of his show December, which should have been presented at the Théâtre Maisonneuve. “At the end of the year, we had reached 15,000,” says Suzanne Richard, production manager at Quebec Issime. Not to mention the 6,000 secondary and primary students who were also able to watch the show, created from images shot during a previous production.
These successes do not replace the usual activities of shows presented to the public. However, they raise “a lot of questions”, according to Suzanne Richard. They force organizations to consider integrating virtual services into their offer. “Would we be able to live just from the webcast?” From a hybrid model? She asks herself.
Emmanuelle Girard, without having specific plans in mind, thinks that geolocated online services could perhaps be part of the tools for developing careers. Martin Hudon, like Suzanne Richard, believes that a virtual concert can help attract new audiences, especially people who do not live in the area where a concert or a large-scale show is presented on stage.
“It’s not everyone’s favorite option,” admits Emmanuelle Girard. She adds, however, that this type of event “opens up new perspectives” and that it is no longer possible to “pretend that it doesn’t exist”. “We keep that in our back pocket and think about it,” she said. We know that the experience can be pleasant. ”
Do you want to attend a cultural event in your living room? Here are some suggestions for accessing a diverse offer in just a few clicks. The Orchester Métropolitain offers its digital concerts on its own site. The Orchester symphonique de Montréal too. Beyries and Québec Issime have for their part worked with their broadcaster, Place des Arts, which has online programming. A few crossroads or virtual rooms have also emerged in recent months, including the Yoop space (whose offer is thin at the moment) and lepointdevente.com (very generous). L’Anti Hall in Quebec City is particularly active in terms of offering virtual concerts. On the theater side, many venues offer online broadcasts, including TNM, which has enthusiastically embarked on this path.
> Visit the Orchester Métropolitain website
> Visit the Orchester symphonique de Montréal website
> Visit the Place des Arts website
> Visit lepointdevente.com
> Visit the Yoop space website
> Visit the L’Anti room website
> Consult the website of the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde