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The Vienna State Opera Goes Digital With Newzik

A long-term Collaboration on Digital Scores

On 23rd of March 2018, Newzik was invited to speak alongside the Wiener Staatsoper at the Karajan music tech conference in Salzburg, Austria, where we officially announced our collaboration.

Indeed, in January 2018, the Vienna State Opera kicked off the implementation of the Newzik solution to step by step equip all departments in the house with iPads and digital music.

The stage managers and production department already have managed a dozen of productions using the technology, and have massively developed it together with the Newzik team.

The Vienna State Opera alongside with Newzik have now started to cooperate with the big publishing houses.

This collaboration takes two complementary directions: equipping the opera house with iPads and building an innovative and more efficient workflow with the publishers, in order to buy and rent digital music material in one click - while saving all the markings.

Let’s explore here:

  • How the opera house has joined the Newzik adventure by having staff members use music on their iPad Pros.
  • How we together envision and shape the future of digital scores with classical publishers.

Testimony: Maxililian Kurz, principal stage manager

I recommend the Newzik App as a perfect collaboration tool, where you can make all the important annotations to the music, and then make it available to all colleagues.

This cloud-based music reader is the best way for my team of stage managers to share any kind of information regarding a performance on stage in real time. This could be either a musical score in PDF or Music XML format, but also PDF cue lists or – crucial for us – even imported pictures, or links to videos.

Wiener Staatsoper has collaborated with Newzik since the beginning of the 2017/18 season, and we and the developers of Newzik are improving the application together, to become the state of the art application for any (theatrical) performance.

Maximilian Kurz, Stage Manager, Wiener Staastoper

Defining the future of digital scores

We started the implementation of digital music with Newzik with our stage managers. They are enthusiastic about this tool and report a significant increase the efficiency of our rehearsals.

The Newzik team listened to our needs and added custom functions in order to fit the demands of our organization – which we think will make the application a perfect solution for other opera houses, too, who are looking for digital workflows as well.

An important challenge stands now on building a new and more efficient workflow with publishers for digital music material instead of hard sheet music copies: Here as in our other digital initiatives (e.g. our comprehensive live streaming service) solutions for legal and contractual issues prove to be as important as the technical aspects.

Christopher Widauer, Head of Digital Development , Wiener Staatsoper

Indeed, if the digitization of sheet music at Wiener Staatsoper is now smoothly expanding, by offering the Newzik technology and the iPad Pros to stage managers, the production and technical departments, the music archive, singers, and musicians, the opera house now has to redefine the process of being provided the music material in a digital format.

That is why the Newzik team and the Wiener Staatsoper are working side by side with the leading publishers to define the new framework to buy and rent digital scores in a secure and efficient platform.

The benefits of using such an online platform will be significant for the opera as well as for all involved parties.

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Wiener Staatsoper is one of the leading opera houses in the world. Its past is steeped in tradition. Its present is alive with richly varied performances and events. Each season, the schedule features 350 performances of more than 60 different operas and ballets.