NUAMPS Shares the Culture

As the latest step in a long-term, comprehensive project to document, distribute, and archive the University’s rich cultural offerings to a wider audience, Northwestern University Information Technology (NUIT) multimedia specialists have made the School of Music’s recent production of Threepenny Opera available for public viewing and download.

Northwestern University Advanced Media Production Studio (NUAMPS), a division of NUIT Academic Technologies, is collaborating with the School of Music to record its three annual opera productions in High Definition Video (HDV). Threepenny Opera follows last spring’s trial collaboration on Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Continuing the project, NUAMPS will film the February 23 performance of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.

“What NUAMPS is doing with the video recordings of our productions goes far beyond archival documentation,” said Professor Noel Koran, director of opera at the School of Music. “Their videos bring the shows to life, and the viewer is almost transported into the story.”

According to Harlan Wallach, architect for media technologies and director of NUAMPS, shooting in HDV will ensure that the operas’ visual quality will continue to meet the ever-increasing requirements of advancing exhibition techniques. Every angle of production will be addressed with a similar eye towards evolving media formats and distribution methods, such as the recent release of content in iPod-compatible video.

NUAMPS takes the operas through each stage of media development, from pre-production planning, to execution of video and audio acquisition and editing, to final distribution via multiple channels.

NUAMPS also offers a Web presence for the operas at, illustrating the plan to address all components in delivering the University’s cultural programming to a larger audience. The Magic Flute and Threepenny Opera are available from the NUAMPS site in on-demand streaming formats.

“We see the work we’re doing with the School of Music as a model for broader possibilities within the University,” said Wallach. “Northwestern presents a wide range of significant cultural activities that we could capture and present through this type of complete media development.”

iPod-compatible videos of The Magic Flute and Threepenny Opera are available online through Apple’s iTunes Music Store by subscribing to “NUAMPS Projects.” Both operas are in the NU Channel 1 Student Television (NUCH1) rotating program lineup through Basic NUTV (, and DVDs of both performances can be checked out from the Marjorie I. Mitchell Multimedia Center at University Library (