Grant #33

International Online Opera

September 30, 2013

When Twitter bursts into operatic song, it will sound like ‘Dido and Aeneas’. And for that, you can thank Ilana Walder-Biesanz.

Ilana Walder-Biesanz has taken center stage in the world of Awesome. A Renaissance woman in her own right (or AWB Prima Donna, if you will), the Microsoft program manager, writer, actress, classically trained mezzo-soprano and soon to be graduate student has big plans for combining her passion for engineering with other fields.

Part of an active Twitter community of opera singers and fans across the world (see Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir below) Ilana plans to facilitate an online performance of Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’, whereby the other participants will join via webcams and Google+ hangout.

Rehearsals would be private and recorded for future reference, with the final performance broadcast live and advertised throughout opera communities on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Tumblr, and major blogs/forums like Parterre and Opera-L.

And this is just the beginning for the world’s only online opera company. For more information visit the website and learn more about the Twitter community via hashtag #operarox!

And now, dear reader, an opportunity for you! With this AWB grant, Ilana will bring on a professional accompanist. Are you a pianist with a passion for opera?! If so, and you also have access to an excellent internet connection, microphone, and webcam, please contact [email protected]. Rehearsals begin in October (exact times TBD).

Category: Music, Performance, Technology



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders