San Francisco Opera Pilots Aloha Real-Time Remote Collaboration Music Service to Prepare for Live Performances

Release date: 3/30/2021


Aloha by Elk Re-Energizes San Francisco's Acclaimed Resident Artist Training Program, the Adler Fellowship, Remotely Connecting Artists to Prepare for One of the Bay Area's First Large-Scale Live Music Performances Post-Lockdown 

  Elk_San Francisco Opera.pdf

The world-renowned San Francisco Opera is relying on Aloha by Elk, a new real-time remote music collaboration service, to prepare its acclaimed resident artists, the Adler Fellows, for a highly anticipated live drive-in series beginning April 29th. Aloha’s ultra-low latency service connects artists remotely, effectively eliminating the lag time that interrupts the creative flow. This allows artists to collaborate and play together live, as if they’re in the same room. For the San Francisco Opera’s classically trained artists whose in-person music collaboration has been put on pause during the pandemic, this means that important musical cues such as hearing breaths, shifts in tempo and expressive variation are now in sync during remote rehearsals.

“Aloha is re-energizing our resident artist training program, allowing collaborative coachings to happen in remote locations, but with a degree of immediacy not previously possible,” states Matthew Shilvock, general director, San Francisco Opera. “One of our pianists commented recently that he was so moved to hear a singer breathe – it was the first time in a year. It was a poignant reminder of how impactful music making will be as we return. Aloha is allowing us to prepare and rehearse singers remotely for our upcoming performance activity and has let us reconnect to singing. We’re honored to be working with Elk in using Aloha and to be charting a new way of making music together.”

Currently in beta, Aloha’s pocket-size device and app brings the lightning-fast performance of Elk Audio OS to keep remote users in sync with a full quality audio experience. Easy-to-use features, which are set within a familiar video chat dashboard, include individual monitoring controls, effects and recording capabilities with options for streaming performances and collaborations over popular social channels. The innovative service runs on smartphones, tablets and computers, over high-speed internet and 5G networks and delivers a real-time experience artists need to collaborate remotely.

Carrie-Ann Matheson, artistic director, San Francisco Opera Center, elaborates on the deeper connect point Aloha brings: “After almost one year of musical isolation, the Aloha system has given our Adler Fellows the beautiful reminder of what it feels like to breathe with another artist. Connection is an integral part of being a musician, and the Aloha by Elk system has allowed us to connect, collaborate, create and react in real time. As we prepare to make the long-awaited transition back into live performances, this exciting technology has helped us immensely in our training for upcoming concerts and operas.”

For live music, the typical lag time with traditional video conferencing applications can be 15 times more than the minimum needed for artists to make music collaboratively.

“Digital transformations in this IoT world have connected almost every market imaginable, yet music has remained siloed. This pain point was magnified when the pandemic put an end to live music as we know it,” comments Michele Benincaso, founder and director, Elk Audio. “With 5G on the horizon and current networks becoming stronger and faster, we are at a tipping point that has set the stage for Aloha's real-time service connecting artists and instruments in a way never before possible. More than catching up, Aloha is enabling musicians and artists to leapfrog into the connected world and collaborate with anyone, anywhere.”

San Francisco Opera was one of the first arts organizations to use Aloha to move its music program safely forward during the pandemic, paving the way by pioneering groundbreaking technology for life after COVID-19. Shilvock concludes, “While we crave getting back to the Opera House, I do believe in a post-pandemic world there will be many opportunities for music making on a remote basis in a way that Aloha would support. Coaching with teachers who might be in another part of the state, or the world, workshopping a new piece with singers in different cities, and just making music together for the sake of making music! Aloha opens up incredible flexibility and freedom for music making, and that flexibility is here to stay.”

More About the San Francisco Adler Opening Performance
Bay Area audiences will have three opportunities to hear San Francisco Opera’s eleven resident artists live in an open-air concert offered in a drive-in setting at San Rafael’s Marin Center on April 29th, May 6th, and May 13th. San Francisco Opera Center’s brilliantly talented Adler Fellows will command the spotlight in a 70-minute program of operatic favorites by composers such as Mozart, Rossini, Puccini, Verdi and Lehár. The 2021 Adler Fellows include sopranos Anne-Marie MacIntosh, Elisa Sunshine and Esther Tonea; mezzo-soprano Simone McIntosh; tenors Zhengyi Bai, Christopher Colmenero and Christopher Oglesby; baritone Timothy Murray; bass Stefan Egerstrom; and pianists Kseniia Polstiankina Barrad and Andrew King. For more information on these and other performances please visit:

About Elk
Elk is a Stockholm-based company that develops technologies enabling a new generation of connected musical instruments and audio devices. Elk's ambition is to create new ways to bridge the gap between musicians and technology, changing how to learn, create, record and share music.

*For the complete press release, please view the attached PDF.