The Göteborg Opera aims to be one of Europe’s most interesting, and now there’s a new platform to generate excitement - the opera.se site. We’ve worked from the same fundamental idea at the root of all our advertising efforts - that it is Opera’s performances that draw visitors. In other words, we focus the web site on the contents of the productions.
When you go to opera.se you are dropped directly into current performances. When you draw your mouse or pointer over a performance, either "Listen", "Read" or "Book the Show" will pop up. If you click on "Listen" a performance is presented, with video clips, pictures and music, integrated via a tool we specially designed for Opera - we call it the Show Visualizer. It is elegant and easy to use, making it possible for anyone at the Göteborg Opera to upload and publish material on individual performances.
Below you’ll see how a performance page can look. Information about the story, the soloists, the dancers, well-known scenographers and composers is layered with clips from Vimeo and YouTube, as well as pictures from the Opera’s Flickr feed. The thought was that each page should be full of content and inspiration. To make this happen, an easy-to-use system that Opera employees can update was required. Together with Aino we designed a new type of back-end system that is simple to update without the risk of designs and layouts being altered.
Before a show’s premier, there is sometimes little media material available. And yet, the show must generate interest as well as ticket sales. So we designed the ShowVisualizer, a tool that synchs photos, graphics, and music, to create a real feeling for performances without needing to show them. Here’s an example at left.
To maximize a feel for performances it is possible to choose a visual view, in order to browse between full-screen images without text or information. The pictures are posters for the performances that are also used in print and outdoor advertising.
Here we were able to tap into the features of Google Maps. You just type in where you are starting from, Stockholm in this case, and then you click on Directions. You’ll get the exact distance and directions below.
It’s a graphic calendar built with HTML 5 that you can jump back and forth with. This gives an easy and visual overview of available performances and when they are playing as well as lets you book tickets.
To simplify important functions and contents at the site we put together a specially designed series of icons together with the illustrator Jonas Rathsman.
In order to heighten the feeling that you actually are at the Opera House as soon as you get to the site, we photographed our way through the entire space, taking pictures with the help of a "magic depth of field machine" together with Jonny Lindh. The photos are haphazardly placed as background pictures throughout the site (except on the performance pages, where we only worked with performance photos to form the backgrounds).
We wanted the fonts to reflect the modern and classical traditions that co-exist at the Opera house. We achieved this via the contrast between Big Caslon and Helvetica Neue. The typefaces are embedded throughout the entire site using the latest Cufon technology.