Georg Hajdu’s interactive networked multimedia performance environment Quintet.net, which has been in development since the late 1990’s, has been used as an integral element of Manfred Stahnke and Simone de Mello’s “Orpheus Kristall” opera. Featuring in the programme of the Munich Biennale for Contemporary Opera (Internationales Festival für neues Musiktheater) in May 2002, “Orpheus Kristall” was well ahead of its time both in concept and in the purest technical sense. With the subtitle “Oper in zwei Medien (Bühne und Internet)” and a core concept that utilizes the usage of computers and the Internet within a music theatre production, this piece was sure to raise a few eye-brows from the very outset. Four musicians, located in different countries, improvised and reacted to the score sent to them over the Internet. This score, in turn, was generated in real-time by transcribing the singing of Orpheus, the character who is constantly on stage. The sound of the improvising musicians was than fed back onto the stage, controlled and mixed by Georg Hajdu himself, in order to create a dream-like state, somewhere between reality and virtuality. Manfred Stahnke’s score is masterfully constructed not only to accommodate the usage of this new medium, but to take full advantage of all the potentials this hybrid creature, a chimera of revered opera tradition and the state-of-the-art networked music performance technologies, has to offer.
Quintet.net – a screenshot of its various components