AKIVERSE INC. Announces the Closed Beta Test of ‘AKIVERSE’, a Metaverse Platform Pursuing a New Form of Gaming

AKIVERSE INC. has announced it will conduct a Closed Beta Test of its metaverse platform "AKIVERSE", pursuing a new form of gaming, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2023, at 10:00 (UTC+9).

AKIVERSE is a metaverse platform both for players to enjoy games and for talented independent game creators to be discovered and supported.

Its platform allows creators to plan, develop, launch, and showcase their games to the world using blockchain technology in AKIVERSE.

Their Oden Can SDK (Software Development Kit) enables game creators to launch their very own Web3 games. Game creation is a comprehensive art. Game designers, developers, scenario writers, visual artists, illustrators, sound creators, and other creators in various disciplines related to game development can all maximize their potential through AKIVERSE.

AKIVERSE is committed to unleashing the power of Web3 to provide a place for creators with distinct skill sets to collaborate on AKIVERSE, a hub where new and unique games are released to the world.

About the AKIVERSE Closed Beta Test
AKIVERSE is a platform where creators can plan, develop, launch, and showcase their game all in one place. At the same time, AKIVERSE will launch with first-party games for players to enjoy.

For this Closed Beta release, AKIVERSE has prepared a selection of mobile arcade games developed in-house to test the gameplay experience. The Closed Beta will be released in three phases, with each phase adding new features to the platform.

Seize this opportunity and become a pioneering player in AKIVERSE. AKIVERSE is looking forward to everyone's participation.

How to play in AKIVERSE
AKIVERSE will provide Web3 games in the spirit of 1980s Akihabara, Japan, where a unique techno arcade culture flourished.

Participants can enjoy AKIVERSE through various roles, including Game Center Owners (GCOs), Arcade Machine Owners (AMOs), Crafters, or Game Players, using the three types of NFT (Game Center NFT, Arcade Machine NFT, and Arcade Part NFT) in AKIVERSE. For example, GCOs and AMOs can enjoy themselves as asset managers to maximize returns. Crafters can collect Arcade Part NFTs and create Arcade Machine NFTs for their own use or resale. Game Players can simply have fun playing games on Arcade Machines.

All participants can earn in-game rewards in the form of AKIVERSE's governance token (AKV) and utility token (AKIR).

▼For detailed information on how to play in AKIVERSE, please check here.

Outline of Closed Beta Test Phase 1

  • Dates: Feb. 14, 2023 (Tue) 10:00 (UTC+9) - March 10, 2023 (Fri) 10:00 (UTC+9) 
  • Maximum Participants: 300
  • Application period: Jan. 27, 2023 (Fri) 16:00 (UTC+9) - Feb. 7, 2023 (Tue) 23:59 (UTC+9)

    * UTC+9 is JST (Akihabara, Japan, Time).
    * The dates of the Closed Beta Test and the application period may change due to development and operational reasons.
    * Please note that participants will be randomly selected if the number of applicants exceeds the number of openings. 

    ▼For detailed information on the Closed Beta Test, please check here.

Future plans of AKIVERSE
A metaverse platform interconnected with real physical cities
The Web3 vision of AKIVERSE is inspired by the city of Akihabara. It drew upon this vision to create the layout of the Akihabara Game Centers.

Following Akihabara, AKIVERSE will expand into an ever-growing federation of cities such as Shibuya and Bangalore.

Accompanying its growth in the metaverse, AKIVERSE will create linkages between the real and virtual world by bringing real-life events into the AKIVERSE world and vice versa. 

By establishing connections between these worlds, AKIVERSE strongly believes that they can increase the value of the facilities, buildings, and lands in AKIVERSE and catalyze more engaged local communities.

AKIVERSE INC. is a Web3 company that issues and operates AKV (Governance token) and AKIR (Utility token), which are used in "AKIVERSE" both for players to enjoy games and for talented independent game creators to be discovered and supported.

Social Link:  http://linktr.ee/akiverse

Contact Information
Public Relation:  [email protected]

Contact Information:
Honami Soeda
Marketing Manager
[email protected]
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Original Source: AKIVERSE INC. Announces the Closed Beta Test of 'AKIVERSE', a Metaverse Platform Pursuing a New Form of Gaming

Exhibition Hall Featuring Grand Canal Cultural Heritage to Open in China’s ‘Hometown of Martial Arts and Acrobatics’

An exhibition hall featuring China's Grand Canal has been in full swing and is expected to open this year, announced the Cangzhou city government. The Grand Canal carries not only produce and raw materials in Cangzhou but also acrobatics and martial arts in this city of the country's north Hebei Province.

Cangzhou City is historically renowned for both its martial arts practitioners and acrobats. The tradition of practicing martial arts in Cangzhou dates back to the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC - 476 BC). It rose in popularity during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and was renowned at home and abroad by the end of the Qing Dynasty (1645-1911).  

A Grand Canal carries half of Chinese history. The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, a prestigious cultural heritage, was excavated over 2,500 years ago and ran through the ancient Chinese civilization.

Cangzhou, a coastal town endowed with both the Grand Canal and the Bohai sea, is a stronghold of South-North China, and the vicinity of the national capital. Its particular geographical location, the multi-ethnic settlement, the promotion of imperial civil examination, and many other historical factors have made Cangzhou a hot land of martial arts. 

The Annals of Cangzhou show that about 1,937 Martial Scholars and Martial Jurors in the Ming and Qing Dynasties came from Cangzhou, with 53 martial arts or independent boxing types originating or spreading here, accounting for 40 percent of China's 129 martial arts and boxing types. Cangzhou was officially named among the country's first batch of the "hometown of martial arts" in 1992. The State Council listed Cangzhou Martial Arts in the first national intangible cultural heritage batch in 2006.

Nearly two million people, or nearly 26 percent of Cangzhou's population, practice martial arts, which go beyond simple fitness and competition and have become essential in exploring the history and preserving Chinese traditional culture.

In addition to Martial Arts, Wuqiao Acrobatics has given new life and vitality to Cangzhou's cultural inheritance. The Ministry of Culture officially awarded Wuqiao as "the hometown of acrobatics in China" in 2004. The State Council listed Wuqiao Acrobatics in the first national intangible cultural heritage batch in 2006.

China Wuqiao International Acrobatic Festival, an iconic event with more than 30 years of history, is also known as one of the "three major acrobatic venues in the world," together with the acrobatic festivals of Monte-Carlo and Paris. Wuqiao Acrobatic World is the world's leading acrobatic theme park, a national AAAA-level and unique acrobatic tourist attraction.

Since the reopening of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal in Cangzhou in September 2022, the Grand Canal culture has been revived. Cangzhou will continue to construct the Grand Canal Cultural Belt as the guide, focusing on acrobatics, martial arts, and other special intangible cultural heritage projects, promoting the systematic protection and inheritance of intangible cultural heritage and striving to create a new business card of "China's Grand Canal Intangible Cultural Heritage City".

Contact Information:
Sasa Guan
tongguan[email protected]

Jiayu Ding
[email protected]

Original Source: Exhibition Hall Featuring Grand Canal Cultural Heritage to Open in China's 'Hometown of Martial Arts and Acrobatics'

TRYST: An Artful Story Collection and Its New Publisher Find a Home on Ethereum

New publisher Alexandria found an outpouring of love and a historic sellout for book NFT collection, TRYST, from award-winning poet and artist Ana María Caballero. Now, they're releasing the second edition.

TRYST: An Artful Story Collection and Its New Publisher Find a Home on Ethereum
Lasker and Caballero celebrate TRYST

Amelie Lasker (left) and Ana Mar\u00eda Caballero (right) celebrated the launch and sellout of the first edition of TRYST on Dec. 8, 2022, at Usagi NY.

"Amazing to see such an incredibly strong reception for [literature] within the web3 space." - Keith Grossman, President of TIME Magazine

Readers gathered at Usagi NY on Dec. 8 for the launch party to promote Ana María Caballero's new fiction collection TRYST. However, the book had already sold out that morning, within 48 hours of release. Keith Grossman, President of TIME Magazine, had just collected the book on the secondary market. The promotional event had become a celebration instead.

Poet and artist Ana María Caballero released a digital collection of short stories, each with a one-of-a-kind cover. With the Alexandria team, publishers of special collectible editions of books as NFTs, Caballero presented her book as a web3 native art piece. The book isn't token-gated, which means anyone can read it, regardless of whether they own the NFT. Buying a copy, then, means creating a relationship between the reader and the author.

"Web3 publishing is revolutionary," Caballero Tweeted the day the book was released for pre-sale. "Finished editing a collection of stories today. Minted them as a digital book via my own smart contract, where I own all royalties. Shared it with you all. Chose a price, chose not to token-gate. I repeat: as an emerging author I chose."

Ana María Caballero won the Steel Toe Books 2022 Book Award for poetry collection Mammal, which will be released this year. She is the recipient of the Beverly International Prize for Literature, Colombia's José Manuel Arango National Poetry Prize, and a Sevens Foundation Grant. Her pioneering work with poetry on the blockchain has been featured by outlets such as Right Click Save, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Elle UK. She co-founded theVERSEverse, a digital gallery for poetry. 

This groundbreaking release is the first fiction book from Alexandria, a new publisher creating limited edition digital books powered by web3, which received coverage this year from CoinDesk and Esquire. Alexandria is creating literary experiences for the digital age, focusing on the preservation and access of information and on putting IP and royalties in the hands of authors using emerging technologies. 

Alexandria's founders, Amelie Lasker (MPhil, Cambridge University) and Sonia Joseph (Ph.D. candidate, Mila), are writers themselves. They created Alexandria out of a desire to contribute to the innovation of books and the ways in which they will be made and read in the future.

Released on Jan. 26, the book's second edition makes more copies available for readers to collect, enjoy, and gift, while paying homage to the first edition in its art style. Collectors of the second edition will receive one of five original covers; the covers feature foliage inspired by a Brooklyn winter (with the earliest hints of spring) created by artist Alexandria Sofija and cover designer Julia Lasker.

TRYST explores the moments and the non-moments, the loves, the losses, and the in-between that make up the lives of the people of Brooklyn. A set of three lyrical and arresting short stories, TRYST offers a glimpse into the poetic and expansive inner lives of three women, each rooted in a different Brooklyn neighborhood.

"These three narratives are told by women looking for ways to be free and failing," Caballero remarks. "There's beauty in the endurance delivered by failure—a beauty I love to dial. I say: 'Hi, heartbreaking beauty, how are you today? Will you lift your foot from my throat, from my wrists, so that I might describe the shadow of your size?'"

To read the book, which is free for the public, and find updates about the second edition release, visit alexandrialabs.xyz.

Contact Information:
Amelie Lasker
Co-Founder and CEO
[email protected]
(978) 430-8449
Related Images
Lasker and Caballero celebrate TRYST
Lasker and Caballero celebrate TRYST

Amelie Lasker (left) and Ana Mar\u00eda Caballero (right) celebrated the launch and sellout of the first edition of TRYST on Dec. 8, 2022, at Usagi NY.

The first edition of TRYST
The first edition of TRYST

One of 100 unique covers by Alexandria Sofija.

Original Source: TRYST: An Artful Story Collection and Its New Publisher Find a Home on Ethereum

Laura Lee Everett Selected as USITT Executive Director

Laura Lee Everett Headshot for Laura Lee Everett (high-resolution version available at www.usitt.org\/lle) LIVERPOOL, N.Y., January 26, 2023 (Newswire.com) ...

Só Dança Announces Tiler Peck as New Brand Ambassador

Só Dança has named New York City Ballet principal dancer, Tiler Peck, their newest brand ambassador. DEERFIELD BEAC...

Guy Fieri is Bringing Flavortown to Life: Introducing Guy’s Flavortown Tailgate Presented by Cash App Big Game Sunday | Feb. 12, 2023, Glendale, Arizona

● An Interactive Food & Music Festival Featuring DIPLO and LOCASH With Performances Powered by Stagecoach ● Taking Place Directly Adjacent to State Farm Stadium Leading Into Kickoff, the Family-Friendly Event Will Welcome 10,000 Local and Visiting Fans for the Ultimate Tailgate Experience ● Fans Can Register for Free Tickets Powered by TickPick OR Purchase VIP Tickets Now

Guy Fieri is Bringing Flavortown to Life: Introducing Guy’s Flavortown Tailgate Presented by Cash App Big Game Sunday | Feb. 12, 2023, Glendale, Arizona
Guy's Flavortown Tailgate Presented by Cash App

Big Game Sunday | Feb. 12, 2023, Glendale, Arizona

America's favorite food personality and restaurateur is bringing Flavortown to Phoenix in partnership with Medium Rare. Guy Fieri's Flavortown Tailgate presented by Cash App will pop up stadium-side on gameday, hosting the largest culinary event in town leading up to the championship kickoff. 

Part food festival, part music festival, Guy's personally curated event will feature restaurant pop-ups, A Taste of Phoenix, tons of bars, a lot of tailgate fun, plus superstar musical performances from DIPLO and LOCASH. Best of all, the event is free, courtesy of TickPick, and family-friendly. Guy will invite the city of Phoenix and traveling football fans alike to join him outside of the Big Game on Sunday, Feb. 12, from 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. MT for the tastiest event of the weekend. Registration for free General Admission Tickets powered by TickPick is now open. VIP Tickets and WYNN VIP Tables offer fans an elevated Flavortown experience and can be purchased now: www.GuysFlavortownTailgate.com. An exclusive offering across the entire festival, Cash App Card holders will receive 25% off their food and beverage purchases at all Tailgate locations when using their Cash App Card at checkout.

Guy Fieri's Flavortown Tailgate is poised to be one the world's leading culinary experiences popping up each year at Big Game Weekend. This year, the event will take place at an unprecedented festival location directly adjacent to State Farm Stadium (9191 Cardinals Way). Expecting up to 10,000 guests, Guy's culinary offering will include 10+ restaurant pop-ups, exclusive Guy Fieri-curated concepts, A Taste of Phoenix highlighting local restaurants, The Sprouts Butcher Shop, Guy's Trashcan Nachos presented by Cash App, and so much more. To view the entire culinary lineup, please visit www.GuysFlavortownTailgate.com.

"Flavortown is coming to Arizona for the big game. Everything you'd want in a music festival and a food festival combined to create the ultimate tailgate for 10,000. Killer food, plenty of drinks, Diplo, LOCASH … it doesn't get much better than that. Let's go!" Fieri says.  

Guy Fieri's Flavortown VIP Clubhouse is the ultimate way for fans to enjoy Flavortown — VIP tickets offer free food and beverage curated by Guy, front-row views of the mainstage, and more. In addition, Guy is teaming up with Wynn Nightlife to bring the ultimate Las Vegas-style VIP experience to Guy's Flavortown Tailgate. The Wynn VIP Table Deck will offer bottle-service tables with the very best views of the mainstage, Guy's banging food delivered directly to your table, and A+ hospitality. This year, fans can also purchase access to the TickPick VIP Lounge within the VIP Mezzanine. The TickPick VIP Lounge will offer shared-table tickets with bottle service, an expedited entrance, TickPick swag and more.

With musical performances powered by Stagecoach, California's Country Music Festival will curate the mainstage sounds featuring a special country set from Thomas Wesley presents: Diplo and LOCASH. Born Thomas Wesley Pentz, Diplo is one of the most dynamic forces in music today. He is legend on his own; a member of the now iconic Major Lazer, which most recently released Music Is The Weapon, its first album in five years; one-third of LSD, the psychedelic supergroup with Sia and Labrinth, whose debut album has been streamed over three billion times; and half of Silk City with Mark Ronson, whose Platinum-certified "Electricity" with Dua Lipa topped charts worldwide and won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. The 10-time Grammy-nominated artist has worked closely with artists including Beyoncé, The Weeknd, Madonna and Bad Bunny; continues to helm his own long-running label Mad Decent; and tours the world over. In 2020, Diplo debuted his first country album, Thomas Wesley Chapter 1: Snake Oil — now certified Gold — and performed at Stagecoach. Joining Diplo is country music's iconic duo LOCASH. Formerly known as LoCash Cowboys, LOCASH is an American country music duo consisting of vocalists Chris Lucas and Preston Brust. The duo has released three studio albums, charted three songs on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and 13 songs on the Country Airplay chart. The two-time CMT Music Award winners have continued to make history as a vocal duo with hits including "I Love This Life" and "One Big Country Song."

Cash App is proud to present the first-ever rendition of Guy's Flavortown Tailgate. As a brand dedicated to encouraging consumers to do more with their money, Cash App will continue to give back to its users at the Tailgate. Cash App Card holders will receive 25% off their food and beverage purchases at all Tailgate locations when using their Cash App Card at checkout. Furthermore, Tailgate fans that have used their Cash App Card at the tailgate will be able to redeem a free order of Guy's Trashcan Nachos presented by Cash App by simply showing their receipt. Adjacent to the Guy's Trashcan Nacho stand, Cash App will incorporate an oversized activation offering attendees comfortable seating, game-day face paint to help cheer on their favorite team, and complementary must-haves like sunscreen, koozies and more.  

Sprouts Farmers Market, Phoenix's famed healthy grocer, is scoring a touchdown with its very own on-site Sprouts Butcher Shop. Featuring 100% Grass-fed Angus Steaks, pasture-raised in the U.S., this on-site butcher shop will satisfy the hunger of meat lovers everywhere. With a local southwest-curated menu, fans will be able to stop by the Sprouts Butcher Shop to sample some of Sprouts' delectable bites that include 100% grass-fed angus beef in carne asada tacos with Sprouts creamy smoked serrano taco sauce. For fans in the Phoenix area, stop by Sprouts today for the chance to win guaranteed tickets to the Tailgate AND a meet-and-greet with the mayor of Flavortown himself. Visit sprouts.com/flavortown to learn more.

It's Tax Season! H&R Block, the company that is redefining the tax preparation industry, is enabling Guy's Flavortown Tailgate fans to celebrate the tax season all Big Game weekend long. At the Tailgate, H&R Block invites guests to participate in the H&R Block Football Toss, featuring custom giveaways and more, where fans can test their football skills — right next to the Big Game stadium. Starting today, H&R Block, football, and food fans everywhere can apply for the chance to win airfare for two and VIP access to Guy's Flavortown Tailgate to meet Guy Fieri, pick up signed swag, and taste the greatest tailgate treats of all time. To learn more, visit guysflavortowntailgate.com/hrblock.

For those looking for a boost of Essential Energy during Big Game Weekend, CELSIUS' premium, better-for-you energy drink will be on-hand. As the official energy drink of Guy's Flavortown Tailgate, CELSIUS will be integrated across the entire event for all guests to enjoy. CELSIUS will also produce a football-themed lounge featuring its all-new Lemon Lime flavor, seating, photo moments, and more. 

Going to the Big Game? Buy no-fee game tickets on TickPick to get HELLAVA Savings and guarantee yourself a FREE General Admission ticket to Guy's Flavortown Tailgate. TickPick, the original no-fee ticket site that guarantees the best prices on tickets to live events and the official ticket partner of Guy's Flavortown Tailgate, is the brand powering FREE access to Big Game Weekend's largest culinary event ever. To learn more about this exclusive offer, visit www.TickPick.com.

Rémy Martin: Since 1724, the House of Rémy Martin has produced premium spirits that consistently appeal to the world's most discerning connoisseurs. During Big Game Weekend, Rémy Martin will debut its first national advertisement during the first quarter of the Big Game — highlighting how teamwork and the pursuit of excellence drive us forward through a never-before-seen lens for the brand.

As a proud partner of the first-ever Guy's Flavortown Tailgate, Arizona IV Medics is excited to offer on-site treatments by licensed medical professionals to guests at the tailgate. Our services, including IVs and B12 shots, help keep fans feeling their best during Big Game Weekend. To learn more about our mobile IV therapy services, please visit our website at www.azivmedics.com.

KickStand Cocktails, the only canned cocktail dedicated to spice, is bringing the heat to Flavortown. Featuring custom KickStand bars on-site, fans will have the opportunity to experience KickStand's four CRUSHABLE™ flavors — Roasted Jalapeño Cucumber, Smashed Raspberry Serrano, Charred Pineapple Poblano and Torched Peach Chipotle, ranging from mild, medium and hot.

The incredible VIZIO Bus is making its next stop in Flavortown. Fully equipped with VIZIO's newest TVs and sound bars, and a sneak peek at VIZIO's latest big announcement, guests can visit the bus to cool down, capture content in an amazing setting, and enjoy the innovation of VIZIO. If you can't make it to Flavortown, check out the Fork & Flight Channel on VIZIO's WatchFree+ streaming service for around-the-clock shows and features for foodies. 

Santo Tequila, certified additive-free and made from the finest 100% Blue Weber Agave from the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, is proud to feature its signature spirit at Guy's Flavortown Tailgate. Founded by Sammy Hagar and Guy Fieri himself, this premium tequila will be served in three different award-winning expressions on-site at the Tailgate: Blanco, Reposado and Mezquila — a one-of-a kind mezcal/tequila blend.

Download High-Res Flyer

About Guy's Flavortown Tailgate

The inaugural Guy's Flavortown Tailgate kicks off Big Game Weekend 2023 at an unprecedented location within kicking distance of the championship game. Part food, part music festival, the free and family-friendly event was designed to celebrate the local flavors of the host city and is poised to be the largest tailgating event in history. Hosted by America's favorite restaurateur, New York Times Best Selling Author, Emmy Award-winning TV host, and one of the most influential culinary stars to date, the one-of-a-kind event is open to 10,000 locals and football fans visiting for the Big Game. Guy's Flavortown Tailgate is produced in partnership with Medium Rare. Guy's lauded production company Knuckle Sandwich and Medium Rare previously produced Guy's Restaurant Reboot, a virtual live-stream benefiting the hospitality industry during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

About Medium Rare 

Lauded events, experiential, and management company, Medium Rare works at the intersection of Sports & Entertainment, partnering with well-known athletes and brands to create iconic media properties, including Shaquille O'Neal's Fun House, Daymond John's Black Entrepreneurs Day, Guy Fieri's Restaurant Reboot, The Sports Illustrated Awards, Rob Gronkowski's Gronk Beach, and more. Creating and executing iconic IP and events that draw in millions of views and fans from around the world, Medium Rare also reaps industry accolades. Recognized with six Webby Awards, Medium Rare founders Joe Silberzweig and Adam Richman are Forbes 30 Under 30 alumni and have graced the Pollstar Next Gen and Variety New Leaders lists in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Industry innovators, the team has overseen successful launches and NFT campaigns for groups including The Golden State Warriors and the Preakness Stakes, shattering sales records in each category. The group's world-class production is balanced by its growing management division, overseeing careers, tours, and partnership deals for some of the most celebrated artists and athletes, including Gordo (formerly DJ Carnage), DJ Diesel aka SHAQ and Rob Gronkowski. For more info, visit www.Medium-Rare.com.

About Stagecoach

Stagecoach, produced by Goldenvoice and now in its 15th year, is the world's premier country music festival. The three-day event held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, features a staggering mix of the genre's biggest stars and its hottest rising acts. Named "Best Country Festival" by Billboard, Stagecoach is the bucket-list country music festival for both artists and fans alike. Past headliners have included Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, and Carrie Underwood, alongside many others. Additional activations on-site have included fan-favorite Guy Fieri's Stagecoach Smokehouse, Compton Cowboys, Nikki Lane's exclusive Stage Stop Marketplace and the Honky Tonk Dance Hall. Tickets and more information can be found at stagecoachfestival.com.

Contact Information:
Amanda Brocato
RMG, SVP of Corporate Strategies & Events
[email protected]

Original Source: Guy Fieri is Bringing Flavortown to Life: Introducing Guy's Flavortown Tailgate Presented by Cash App Big Game Sunday | Feb. 12, 2023, Glendale, Arizona

The National Children’s Chorus (NCC) Launches Opera Division and New VAIL OPERA CAMP Initiative Under the Leadership of Artistic Director Luke McEndarfer

NCC Appoints Johnathan McCullough as Opera Program Director and Dylan F. Thomas as Opera Program Coordinator

The National Children’s Chorus (NCC) Launches Opera Division and New VAIL OPERA CAMP Initiative Under the Leadership of Artistic Director Luke McEndarfer
National Children's Chorus

National Children's Chorus

The GRAMMY® Award-winning National Children's Chorus is teaming up with its newly appointed Opera Program Director, GRAMMY®-nominated Johnathan McCullough, to launch the organization's new VAIL OPERA CAMP initiative and Opera Vocal Studies program. 

The VAIL OPERA CAMP is an all-encompassing program where the next generation of singers, directors, conductors, stage managers, and designers can go to hone their skills with guidance from faculty and guest artists working at opera houses around the world. This season, the NCC is opening enrollment to grade school and high school students across the country and is actively looking to recruit young artists interested in opera for summer 2023.

This August, all participants will convene in Vail, Colorado, to mount a fully staged opera and learn opera history, stagecraft, design, and acting. The opera camp will offer fellowships in directing/stage management and artistic conducting, building a unique opera company for youth where students ages 10-18 will be able to gain practical experience that can be powerful for their futures as they continue studies in higher education. 

For more information about VAIL OPERA CAMP and to set up an audition, please visit https://nationalchildrenschorus.com/opera-camp/ or scan the QR code (https://imgur.com/a/RjFsVt8). Scholarship opportunities are available for all families who qualify. Enrollment is open through April 1, 2023. 

In addition to directing NCC's VAIL OPERA CAMP, McCullough and Dylan F. Thomas (Opera Coordinator) will hold courses throughout the year for NCC members, covering a variety of topics, including opera history, acting, performance, and audition techniques. 

"It is an honor to appoint GRAMMY® Award-nominee Johnathan McCullough to lead this exciting new program. He is a distinguished NCC alumnus and looks forward to rejoining the organization — this time as a Program Director," said Luke McEndarfer, Artistic Director and CEO.

The opera presented for summer 2023 will be "The Tinker of Tivoli," an original opera pastiche drawn from the works of Gioachino Rossini, including "The Barber of Seville" and "Cinderella." The storyline is adapted from the Grimm Brothers' tale "The Gallant Tailor," by Michael Jacobsen. 

The performance will be presented at the AVON Performance Pavilion at the base of the Rocky Mountains on the evening of Aug. 11. The event is free and open to the general public. It will be directed by Johnathan McCullough and conducted by Maestro Allan Laiño. 

"I'm very excited to step into this new role directing the opera program of the very chorus that started my love for singing. The NCC is where I was first introduced to classical music, which then led me to pursue my first role with Los Angeles Opera's Opera Camp. There, I discovered my passion for opera, which led to a professional career," said McCullough. "I'm truly thrilled to build an unparalleled resource where students can choose to train in multiple areas of operatic disciplines. I'm also honored to have Dylan F. Thomas, a brilliant director, educator and co-founder of Valley Opera & Performing Arts, on staff throughout the year, leading acting classes for our students in his new role as Opera Program Coordinator."

To access high-definition photos that are freely available for distribution across all media platforms, please refer to this link: https://imgur.com/a/d6wb6wr.

About National Children's Chorus:

The GRAMMY® Award-winning National Children's Chorus, under the leadership of Artistic Director Luke McEndarfer and Associate Artistic Director Dr. Pamela Blackstone, has quickly become one of the world's leading children's choirs. Among the most exciting and fastest-growing music institutions for youth in the nation, the chorus provides its unparalleled training to talented singers locally and abroad, with more than 35 choirs and 1,000 students based in the chapter cities of Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Austin, Dallas and Boston. Now in its second decade, the NCC's groundbreaking Season 2022/23, entitled Resounding Voices, expands on the chorus' recent success, featuring an array of special projects, demonstrating the organization's firm commitment to eclectic programming, new music, world culture and extraordinary collaborations.

About Luke McEndarfer: 

Luke McEndarfer is a GRAMMY® Award-winning American conductor and one of the most compelling forces in the choral world today, with a dynamic career shaped by ambitious innovation, artistic creativity and musical excellence. Currently, he serves as Artistic Director, President and CEO of the National Children's Chorus, one of the fastest-growing and most successful youth arts organizations in the United States. His conducting collaborations include work with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Youth Symphony, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Opera Company, New York City Master Chorale, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, the Joffrey Ballet, Opera Parallèle, Kronos String Quartet, and Stephen Petronio Dance Company. Over the years, he has prepared choruses and soloists for Gustavo Dudamel, Grant Gershon, James Conlon, Stephen Layton, David Alan Miller, Ibrahim Maalouf, John Rutter, Helmuth Rilling, David Willcocks, Eric Whitacre and the late Paul Salamunovich, among others. To date, his premiere conducting performances include music by Morten Lauridsen, Sharon Farber, James Wright, Stephen Cohn, Thomas Hewitt Jones, Daniel Brewbaker, Sage Lewis, Shawn Kirchner, Paul Gibson, Rufus Wainwright, and Nico Muhly. Visit nationalchildrenschorus.com/team/.

About Johnathan McCullough: 

GRAMMY®-nominated baritone and director Johnathan McCullough recently premiered his production of David T. Little's Soldier Songs produced by Opera Philadelphia, which was nominated for an International Opera Award and won the Artistic Creation Prize at the inaugural Opera America Awards for Digital Excellence. The film is currently streaming on the Opera Philadelphia Channel and Marquee TV. He will make his Canadian directing debut this season with the Atelier Lyrique of Opéra de Montréal in a program entitled "Emily," centered around works written by Emily Dickinson, co-created by conductor and pianist Christopher Allen. 

He has sung leading roles at Opera Philadelphia, Komische Oper Berlin, English National Opera, Opéra de Lausanne, Portland Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and many more. McCullough was selected by Renée Fleming to participate in the Weill Institute Song Studio at Carnegie Hall where he has also performed in concert. Upcoming singing engagements include Carnegie Hall Citywide Series recital with pianist Carol Wong; the baritone soloist in Britten's "War Requiem" at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the National Children's Chorus and American Youth Symphony; and appearances in leading roles with Pittsburgh Opera, Boise Philharmonic, and Opera Philadelphia. 

He holds a B.M., M.M., and Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music and has been engaged as a guest speaker with institutions including Yale, Curtis, UCLA, Mannes Opera, Young Arts: The National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, and Pacific Opera Victoria. As a director, McCullough's work has been noted by The New York Times as "a pacesetter for cinematic opera." Visit  https://mcculloughbaritone.com/.

About Dylan F. Thomas: 

Dylan F. Thomas is the co-founder and Principal Stage Director of Valley Opera & Performing Arts, currently in its 17th season in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, where he has directed full productions of numerous operas, musicals, and concerts. Over the years, he has directed several family productions for the Pacific Symphony and Opera Pacific, where he also acted as both Resident Outreach Director and Education Stage Director, as well as Program Director for Opera Pacific's Opera Camp. Metropolitan Opera soprano Ana Maria Martinez described Dylan F. Thomas as an artist who "thinks out of the box in an intriguing and captivating way ... an inspiring director and mentor, particularly for young artists." Visit https://dylanfthomas.com/

Contact Information:
Jennifer Buonantony
PR Contact for National Children's Chorus
[email protected]

Original Source: The National Children's Chorus (NCC) Launches Opera Division and New VAIL OPERA CAMP Initiative Under the Leadership of Artistic Director Luke McEndarfer

Revolutionary Augmented Reality Concert Experience Unveiled by tagSpace for Upcoming TV Series ‘Melody’

'Melody' Takes the Stage in the Mixed-Reality Metaverse

Revolutionary Augmented Reality Concert Experience Unveiled by tagSpace for Upcoming TV Series ‘Melody’
Melody Augmented Reality Concert Experience

Melody and Layla Avatars on Augmented Reality Stage

Australian tech company tagSpace will support Warner Music Group and Trinity Entertainment in the upcoming release of the Spanish-language, young adult musical series "Melody," premiering Feb. 22, 2023, on Amazon Prime.

Melody is a cross-collaboration between Warner Music Entertainment, Warner Chappell Music, Warner Music Latina, and Trinity Entertainment.

Presenting at the show's launch event at Content Americas in Miami, tagSpace CEO and founder Paul Martin will demonstrate how Augmented Reality (AR) is changing the way in which we consume digital content and promote entertainment properties through immersive experiences that play out in real-world environments. 

Within the tagSpace mobile app, fans will experience a front-row seat at a Melody concert, with 3D digital-scanned avatars of the show's stars Melody and Layla performing their duet "Without You." Free to download and available worldwide, the Melody Augmented Reality zone will be part of a social media campaign that encourages fans to interact, film and share their Melody concert experience with their friends. Prizes for the best entries will be awarded by the show's sponsors, Gibson and Epiphone.

Paul Martin, tagSpace's founder and CEO, said, "As leaders in location-based AR, we have enabled dozens of use-cases around the world; we have helped people find each other, their cars, food & beverage and merchandise at music festivals and sports events; we have given people self-guided tourism experiences; and powered city-wide scavenger hunts. This Melody Augmented Reality show is a new experience in our real-world metaverse, which will be live and available simultaneously at spaces all across the planet. We are excited to see the locations that users choose to capture their unique Melody Augmented Reality experiences. That's one of the unique advantages of AR vs VR — that the same content can look and feel completely different depending on where it is experienced in the real world."

"As with everything, we have to stay in touch with the world, and my kids remind me of this every day. The way we understand and digest content — it's so dramatically different now. With tagSpace, we're creating dynamic and innovative augmented reality experiences that allow us to speak to this new generation, and help us reach new, younger audiences in truly fascinating ways," remarks Jose Luis Pagan, Melody show creator and producer.

The tagSpace App is available to download on both Apple Store and Google Play via this link: https://publish.tagstorm.com/Melody.

About tagSpace 

tagSpace Pty Ltd. (tagspace.com) is a technology start-up composed of video-game industry veterans and founded by CEO Paul Martin, who was responsible for delivering video game engine technologies to companies such as Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony and Capcom. tagSpace provides a mixed-reality, location-based platform for creating interactive, social experiences running on mobile and wearable hardware, bringing the digital metaverse to the real world. 

About Melody

Warner Music Entertainment, Warner Chappell Music, Warner Music Latina, and Trinity Entertainment present Melody, a 13-episode Spanish-language, young adult musical series, premiering Feb. 22, 2023, on Amazon Prime. Melody, sponsored by Gibson Guitar Brands and shot in both Miami and Buenos Aires, is a coming-of-age, young adult dramedy inspired by the real-life stories of Yas Gagliardi and Sarah Lenore as emerging, successful recording artists. 


Photos and Videos available to download at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1LotgN8trNNjX921MJhAShSiInuMALvHY?usp=sharing.


@tagspace_co — Instagram

@tagSpaceCo — Twitter

@tagspace — TikTok

@tagspace3809 — YouTube

Contact Information:
Pip Moore
[email protected]

Original Source: Revolutionary Augmented Reality Concert Experience Unveiled by tagSpace for Upcoming TV Series 'Melody'

Phantomasy Has Been Invited to Present Its Products at Secret Room Events’ Celebrity Gifting Suite Event

Phantomasy will be attending the Secret Room Events Celebrity gifting suite on Feb. 3

Phantomasy Has Been Invited to Present Its Products at Secret Room Events’ Celebrity Gifting Suite Event

Broken doll-like woman wearing a black and white mask covering her whole face.

Tris Nielsen created Phantomasy in 2018, located in Vancouver BC. She started her small business in her living room with just one embroidery machine and a computer. Her business quickly took off in 2021 when she started making masks that can be worn over glasses. She was pleasantly surprised when Rita Branch, CEO of Secret Room Events, contacted her and asked her if she would like to present her products in the SRE celebrity gifting lounge prior to the Grammy Awards ceremony. Tris couldn't pass up the opportunity and is very excited to attend.

Her High Fantasy, Gothic Victorian-inspired masks are unique and allow for glasses to be worn underneath them. Tris' "glasses friendly" masks are Phantomasy's most popular products and are always in high demand, sometimes selling out in less than 30 minutes. They give the illusion of not being able to see and completely conceal the wearer's face, while also providing clear visibility. Tris' products are enjoyed by both glasses users and non-glasses users all over the world, using them for masquerades, costumes, performances, live-action role-playing and more.

"I always loved to wear costumes and dress up, but my vision is terrible. Contact lenses weren't working well for me, so I wondered if it would be possible to make a mask that could be worn over top of glasses," says Tris. "I designed a mask that could completely cover your face, giving the illusion of not being able to see, but also provided good visibility to the wearer. I posted it on TikTok and it quickly became evident that I created something that filled a need. The response was overwhelmingly positive and a community started to form. I received so many orders, I was able to expand my business and hire a few friends to help me with the work load. It's been an amazing journey so far and I'm so excited to see what comes next."

Tris makes all of her masks using embroidery machines. She designs all of her creations herself using an embroidery program. All of her masks are made of polyester thread and are gender neutral, suitable for teenagers and adults.

For more information, please visit www.phantomasy.com

Event date: Friday, Feb. 3 2023
Time: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Petersen Automotive Museum rooftop

Contact Information:
Rita Branch
CEO of Secret room events
[email protected]

Tris Nielsen
Owner of Phantomasy
[email protected]

Original Source: Phantomasy Has Been Invited to Present Its Products at Secret Room Events' Celebrity Gifting Suite Event
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