Honoria in Ciberspazio

March 13, 1999: Scene One at SXSW

Live Premiere of scene one of the original score by composer George Oldziey, at the SXSW Interactive Festival opening event.


  • Claire Vangelisti as honoria
  • Bruce Cain as Bookish
  • Melinda Brou as Sandy
  • Oliver Worthington as .rez
  • Eric Peabody as the Oracle

With Varushka, Rachael, Christine & Tom as human embodiments of servers.

The press release:

Internet opera of the Austin Technopolis sings open South by Southwest

February 28, 1999. Cyberspace and Austin, Texas — “When life dawns on a glowing screen and worlds emerge from in between” – With these words a dark baritone voice evokes the power of Internet interaction and sings open the 1999 South by Southwest Interactive Festival. Conducted by composer George Oldziey a passionate swell of operatic voices will engulf the postmodern decor of the SXSW opening venue to premiere music by Wing Comander composer George Oldziey for Scene One of the first tele-collaborative Internet opera. Ten minutes of the cyberopera, Honoria in Ciberspazio, opens the South by Southwest Interactive Kick-Off party in the atrium of GSD&M, 828 6th Street, Austin, Texas on March 13th, 1999 at 6:30 p.m.

Four operatic voices melodically exchange electronic messages hoping to attract meaningful Internet relationships — the essence of the featured section of the first Internet Opera. The opera’s story continues when the lonely characters engage upon idealized Internet loves and must confront the risks and passions of programmed chaos. Austin’s high tech community and musical avant garde provides the perfect environment to create the first Internet opera. The full opera will be completed in Spring 2001.

The SXSW preview of Honoria in Ciberspazio is proud to present Claire Vangelisti (Soprano), Bruce Cain (Baritone), Oliver Worthington (Tenor), Melinda Brou (Mezzo) and Eric Peabody (Bass) singing the roles of the lonely lovers and the Oracle. The singers are real, not virtual. The story is real, too. The Internet is the medium of creation and delivery for this timely, multi-authored opera.

“After three and a half years of collaborative work the Internet opera is ready to go international. We are negotiating with several representatives of European opera,” says opera impresaria Honoria. Honoria, known occasionally as Madelyn Starbuck in real life, is obtaining a Ph.D in Networked Interaction at The University of Texas at Austin while working with the new WholeFoods.com ecommerce site as online community conceptualist. “Doctoral research and my job, together with our cyberopera keeps me busy,” the impresaria admits, “but the cyberopera spins off a vitality of its own. Honoria in Ciberspazio is representing the City of Austin in the Global Bangemann Challenge award in Sweden this summer. We’d love to win this prestigious award in the category of technology and culture for Austin!”

“After working with creative contributions from online citizens from all over the world, our core team is extending its infrastructure to Europe,” says technical director Knut Graf who joined the project from Germany, “we are now in a position to forge relationships with Austin business leaders to take our unique Internet opera to the next level.” To showcase the combined efforts of the Music Captital of the World with Silicon Hills technology the internet opera invites Austin multimedia developers to integrate their most powerful interactive components into the cyberopera’s performance phase for the 2001 premiere in Spain.

Extensive documentation of Honoria in Ciberspazio can be found at http://www.cyberopera.org, an award winning website.

Honoria in Ciberspazio is funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts and in part by the City of Austin under the auspices of the Austin Arts Commission.