Google’s Blob Opera project allows music lovers to hit high notes


But what of traditionalists who would much rather hear a real voice in a theatre or hall?

“There is still an understanding that opera is really about the emotional expression of the people on the stage, using their unamplified voices,” Ms Doutney said. “Opera is always evolving with technology, but I don’t think that a machine will ever be able to replicate the emotional response we get from hearing a live voice.

“But there is no doubt that the project is an extremely positive use of technology to teach people about music and have some fun while doing it.”

The experiment has received support from the world of classical music. Wasfi Kani, the CEO and founder of Grange Park Opera said: “It is beyond brilliant. I just want everyone, young and old, rich and poor, to know about and to plunder the massive treasure chest of music and opera. It’s free.

“What I love about it is that you can easily create something that is sophisticated and satisfying to listen to, and you feel you’ve achieved something. Not only does it inspire the young  to compose, but it also makes them ask the question ‘what is an opera?’ And the way it is put together, it will also help them analyse other music they hear.”

The project has also received backing from the London Symphony Orchestra, whose Twitter account posted: “Please, waste five minutes of your time on this, it’s absolutely worth it.”

Opera North, a touring group based in Leeds said: “If you have managed not to waste five minutes, which might turn into five hours, on Blob Opera yet, let today be the day you cave.”

While theatres and performance halls have shut their doors once more due to the Covid pandemic, Ms Doutney says the online platform can serve as a reminder of how precious the arts are.

“After months of cancelled and rescheduled performances, I hope that when we can get back to the stage, as many people as possible take the opportunity to come along,” she said. “These institutions have been hit really hard by Covid, and it’s so important we support them.”


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