World's First Computer-assisted Opera Now First Online Opera


YAV Interactive Media
Brederodestraat 47
2042 BB Zandvoort
The Netherlands

Christopher Yavelow

World's First Computer-assisted Opera Now First On-line Opera

The Netherlands -- December 1, 1994 -- Christopher Yavelow, award-winning composer and author, launched his opera COUNTDOWN into cyberspace today. Program notes, libretto, and a complete audio recording are accessible by way of his home page on the World Wide Web. To facilitate Internet transfer speeds the opera has been segmented into 16 sections - a single click takes you to the next page of the libretto, another click plays the recording of that page. To access COUNTDOWN point your World Wide Web browser to

COUNTDOWN was commissioned by the Boston Lyric Opera Company and composed as part of an intensive composer/librettist collaboration program entitled "Opera in Process," sponsored by "Opera in the Eighties and Beyond" under the auspices of Opera America and The National Endowment for the Arts. COUNTDOWN went on to win first prize in the Virginia Opera Society's "New One-Act Operas" competition. The society mounted a full production of the opera; however, the on-line recording is of the premiere by the Boston Lyric Opera under the direction of John Balme.

COUNTDOWN takes place beneath the surface of the earth, but not in the realm of the Nibelungen. The libretto, by award-winning screenwriter Laura Harrington, places the principle characters, Jenna and Charlie, in charge of an underground NORAD nuclear missile command silo. Jenna has just revealed that she is pregnant when the order to begin the countdown arrives.

Christopher Yavelow is a composer, multimedia producer, and author. He received graduate degrees in composition from both Boston University and Harvard University and diplomas from several European conservatories. Before moving to the Netherlands in late 1993, he was professor of composition at Claremont Graduate School and also taught at the American Film Institute's AFI-Apple Center for Film and Videomakers as well as Kodak's Center for Creative Imaging. As a composer, his works have been honored with over three dozen international awards and fellowships, including a National Endowment for the Arts grant for his opera "The Passion of Vincent van Gogh." As an author, his "Macworld Music and Sound Bible" (IDG) received the Computer Press Association's "Best Advanced How-To Book" award in 1993. Christopher Yavelow is currently series editor for the Computer Music and Digital Audio Series (A-R Editions).

To experience COUNTDOWN, a fast modem or direct connection to the internet is recommended - the individual soundfiles take between one to six minutes to transfer using a 28.8k modem. The files are in .au format and are playable on most computer platforms. An alternate "streaming" version is in preparation.

Related URLs:

COUNTDOWN - The First On-line Opera:
Catalog of Christopher Yavelow's music:
World Wide Web site of YAV Interactive Media:
Photo of Christopher Yavelow:


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