Grachtenfestival & Luke Deane

We Cannot Sleep – A VR Opera

Project details

Follow characters from the theatre stage into a virtual world

What is real and unreal? This question was one of the main themes of We Cannot Sleep, a VR opera premiered at the 2017 Grachtenfestival. This theme fits VR perfectly as the medium itself asks this question of the user.

In the opera, composed by Luke Deane, the protagonist moves through physical theatre sets but also transports herself to a digital world. The audience follows her to that reality through synchronized VR headsets.

By immersing the audience in this dream-world they got up close with the characters, allowing them to experience another level of intimacy. The virtual scenes were realized through a combination of green-screen captures of the performances of the mezzo and soprano, combined with CG imagery and other visual effects.



Partner: Grachtenfestival & Luke Deane
Release date: August 11th, 2017
Directors: Luke Deane, Leon van Oord




share this project

The absolute highlight of this year's Grachtenfestival is We Cannot Sleep, a virtual opera.

Kester Freriks - NRC