Imagine an opera that’s virtually staged, a theatrical performance acted out by Minecraft video game avatars, but sung live by talented vocalists and accompanied by an orchestra. Sure, that may seem pretty out there, but if you’re as nerdy as I am, well you’ll appreciate what a creative masterpiece it turned out to be.

Merging video games and opera – Virginia Tech from virginiatech on Vimeo.

Ariana Wyatt, assistant professor of voice at Virginia Tech, came up with the idea for Operacraft (nifty name, right?!). She recruited eight high school students to develop a Minecraft set for an opera that debuted this December.

The students were charged with “building a massive set for ‘OperaCraft’ in the sandbox building game,” according to The Washington Post, and used “their Minecraft avatars to act out the opera’s major roles.”

The high schoolers were under the direction of Virginia Tech undergraduate computer science student Cody Cahoon, who worked with them to help build 16-bit Lego-like characters equipped to take center stage. He, along with others from Virginia Tech well-versed in computer lingo, were called upon to aid in making the Minecraft avatars more animated.

“We at least want their mouths to move,” Wyatt said back in September. “We have a team of computer scientists and music technology people who are working to retrofit Minecraft a little for some facial control…and to allow for them to have a little more body movement.”

And as you can tell from the video, they were very successful.

As for what the opera was about, well I couldn’t really grasp that much from the short flick, but a few months back Wyatt did say that the performance was due to be “very teenage boy, very post-apocalyptic.”

Take that as you will.