The Opera Goes High Tech

The opera is going high-tech.

Attendees of the Austin Lyric Opera’s upcoming performance of “La Traviata” will notice something new in the show program — small graphical squares scattered throughout the pages.

After downloading an app, patrons who target the icons with their smart phones can be directed to a variety of content, including advertisers’ websites, without having to type in a URL. Scan the code next to the ad for local bistro Chez Zee and get a coupon for 20 percent off dinner.

The postage-stamp-size icons, called QR (quick response) codes, are more sophisticated cousins of traditional bar codes. And in the age of smart phones, they’re an increasingly popular way to interact with an audience, because they can instantly send people to websites, photos or videos.