The orchestra is often the most problematic element of an opera production. The commitment in time and money is typically beyond the resources of smaller companies. The common alternative is a small instrumental ensemble or a simple piano accompaniment.

These are clearly inadequate substitutes for the vibrant harmonies of the full orchestra, and the time is ripe to tackle the problem by utilising the most recent developments in music technology. The use of electronic enhancement is not new and is used extensively in popular music and in the recording industry where “real time” musical demands are less stringent. Live opera requires a far more sophisticated treatment in terms of dynamic and rhythmic structure which, until recently, were beyond the capacity of available technology.

The Virtual Reality Orchestra is a computer-generated instrument, where authentic, “sampled” sounds of the live orchestra are triggered by the computer. In performance, a single musician is sufficient to operate the system, and its simplicity and versatility allow it to be employed in virtually any venue. It has the capability to follow variations in dynamics and tempo, enabling it to accompany without difficulty. This ability to accompany is perhaps its most unique feature.