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As part of Against the Grain’s Digital Opera Research and Intelligence Study (DORIS), we sat down with livestreaming experts to chat about the intersection between opera and technology. In the Q&A below, you’ll meet Alex Olegnowicz, founder and CEO of Symmetrica.

Symmetrica is a Toronto-based company specialising in webcasting solutions for orchestra, opera, ballet and jazz. With over 20 years of extensive experience in production, post-production, and live events, Alex has successfully developed and managed companies in media and entertainment and has worked with some of the most important producers and directors in Canada, the U.S. and Brazil. Alex was personally nominated in 2002 for the Emmy Award in a craft for CGI and Design.

How did Symmetrica come to be?

Symmetrica was founded in 2014 when we started looking at availability of concerts and media in new platforms. We noticed a lack of production outside traditional broadcasters and streaming services, so we started research on new ways of production and distribution using technology that was just starting to become available.

What is the best way of disseminating livestreams?

We suggest using as many platforms as possible and then routing viewers back to your website. Enabling multicasting to all platforms is the best way to make your stream accessible to the widest possible audience. We recommend using Facebook Live, Twitter, Livestream, YouTube and even non-traditional online video platforms.

What are some possible revenue streams to support recording and streaming projects?

I don’t believe that a paywall approach to streaming performances is a sustainable model. Even the most recognized organizations report a modest income if any, and the model keeps some audiences away. In our experience, the best model is direct sponsorship with non-traditional advertisers that can benefit from exposure to your audience.

Tell us about the current project you’re working on.

We are currently working on a series that takes an intimate look at the life of composers, conductors and soloists. We are also developing a semi-automated switching and camera control system specifically designed for live performances.