The Shoebox Diorama
Based in The Hague, The Netherlands

Release date:
2013 - 2014



Regular Price:


Die Fernweh Oper is the 4th addition to 'The Shoebox Diorama' an ongoing series of fantastical dioramas for VR devices by interactive illustrator 'Daniel Ernst' and in collaboration with poet 'Maud Vanhauwaert'. Simply put, a diorama is a painting you can visit with a simple goal of inspiring a sense of wonder through heartfelt interaction. They are an ideal retreat to ponder and be somewhere else. Once you put on your VR headset, you will be seated in a majestic opera hall with a giant Opera Singer. The Opera singer, dressed as a star, sings about her impossible love for mankind in an everlasting cycle of life and death. The distance between her and mankind, will also signify the distance between you and a virtual reality. To emphasize the premise of distance, users will be able to visit the opera hall simultaneously. Meaning if you would put your VR goggles on your head in China and I will enter the diorama in The Netherlands we will be able to see eachother in the opera hall. When the giant opera singer looks sings to the visitors the focus of each participant will shift from visitor to visitor to opera singer. The opera is performed by 'Annina Giere' through the virtues of motion capture and she performs a piece composed by 'Misha Velthuis' and arranged by 'Naren Chandavarkar' with lyrics by poet 'Maud Vanhauwart'. 'Die Fernweh Oper' will also play with the sense of distance during the Buchmesse. The diorama is accompanied by a physical installation, built by artist 'Catinka Kersten', that will be designed to mimic the worn down versions of the theatre virtual theatre chairs in virtual opera hall. A physical libretto will be handed out to each visitor containing the lyrics of the Opera. These installations are located in three spots on the Frankfurter Buchmesse: The Main Pavilion, Dutch and Flemish Literary Fund booths (Hall 5.0), The Dutch Art Funds booth at ARTS+. This way the opera willserve as a space that exists alongside the frenzied reality of the Buchmesse, a place without time and marketing, a place of poetry and wonder.


'Diorama No.4 - Die Fernweh Oper' is part of a bigger project that is initiated by the Dutch Literary Fund and Creative Industries Fund NL and will consist of a proud delegation of four Dutch and Flemish VR projects. The Netherlands and Flemings are hosting this years edition of the Buchmesse. 'Die Fernweh Oper' will be part of main pavilion and 2 other locations. Daniel met Annina on a vacation in Greece. When Daniel was hiking through the mountains until he was startled by beautiful opera singing coming from the vacation house he stayed in. This was the first inception of the project. "Die Fernweh Oper"is also a 'sequel' to 'Diorama No.2 : Der Grosse Gottlieb' and a continuation of the themes.


  • Multiplayer experience allows you to visit the
  • A motion captured performance by 'Annina GierĂ©'
  • Interactivity is used to let you experience a story
  • A diorama mode in which you can freely explore environments.
  • Facial and mocap animations
  • The environment is handpainted on top of 3D geometry allowing for a staggering amount of detail
  • A spatial audio system allows the visitor to experience true 3D sound
  • Original soundtrack by musician 'Misha Velthuis' and 'Naren Chandavarkar' and lyrics by 'Maud Vanhauwaert'


Trailer YouTube


DieFernwehOper - Promo - Libretto Star Map.png
DieFernwehOper - Promo - Libretto Cover .png
DieFernwehOper - Promo.png
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Awards & Recognition

  • "Official Selection Frankfurter Buchmesse" October, 2016
  • "Official Selection Cinekid" October 2016

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About The Shoebox Diorama

The Shoebox Diorama is a one man company that creates interactive illustration for virtual reality devices.

More information
More information on The Shoebox Diorama, our logo & relevant media are available here.

Diorama No. 1 : Blocked In Credits

Daniel Ernst
Interactive Illustrator (Code,Art and everything in between)

Maud Vanhauwaert
Writings and musings

Annina Giere

Misha Velthuis

Naren Chandavarkar

Koen Koopman
3D Character Model

Catinka Kersten
Construction Physical Installation

Roos Laan
Graphics Design

Allard van Gent
German Translation

Maarten Brouwer
Network Code

presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks