Electrifying Opera, Amplifying Agency: 

Designing a performer-controlled interactive audio system for opera singers

My PhD research traces the development of real-time audio-processing environments that accommodate the operatic voice on its own terms. My ultimate goals were twofold: to identify a sound design that affords a balance between an unamplified, embodied operatic voice and its sampled, processed and disembodied voice(s), and to design an interactive audio processing system that facilitates mobility and allows performers to manipulate their own voice in real-time, independent of a visual interface. I wanted to create a performer-controlled interface that would enable nuanced and variable vocal processing, be robust, teachable, and suitable for use in a variety of settings: solo performances, chamber music and opera. I have named the processing system that resulted from this research the "Expanded Vocal Improvising Instrument" (EVII). A tribute to and acknowledgement of the influence of Pauline Oliveros and her Expanded Instrument System (EIS).


  • This page serves as an entry point, from which the other parts of the site can be reached. The HOME link in the menu goes back here, and is present on all sub-pages.
  • My critical reflections are available here as a downloadable PDF  ==>
  • The sub-pages Mapping & Prototyping, Space & Speakers, and Artistic Results contain video documentation of the work discussed in the critical reflection
  • An aural presentation about my research is found in the Presentations section of this exposition.

© Kristin Norderval