Mobile shift


Ateliers Pro!To!Type!

Sowl, your own bowl

Opéra Royal de Liège Wallonie

Develop an information architecture that combines complexity, intelligence and user-friendliness

The needs

L’Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège (ORW) chose Spade from a dozen agencies to complete a major project: designing a new website to meet its multiple needs.

At the heart of a vast digital ecosystem, the new platform must offer its users a unique and fluid experience, in a lyrical and poetic universe, while integrating a complete range of technical solutions that support essential functionalities.

Faced with this inspiring challenge, Spade's team put its expertise and talents to work to:

  • highlight amazing visuals of the shows and integrate the ORW's visual identity
  • optimize the user experience with a platform that takes into account the diversity of target audiences
  • develop a responsive design platform, in line with current consultation methods
  • present all the shows of the current season, archive the past seasons, as well as present the multiplicity of casts, with a directory of 1200 artists
  • allow greater flexibility in content management and facilitate the management of the ORW team: online booking and ticketing, subscriptions, etc.

A challenge like we love them at Spade. This prestigious institution wanted to completely revise its digital communication medium

Constraints and challenges

  • Offer experiences adapted to the multiple target audiences: families & children, companies, schools, associations, press & media, groups and tourists
  • Satisfy subscribers and regular customers but also to attract new audiences
  • Continue the development of artistic activities and support their influence (tours, collaborations, etc.)
  • Meet the requirements of private partners (B2B) and convince new ones to sponsor the ORW
  • Address the complexity of integrating data from multiple sources and produce a platform that is easy to manage

Time was also a constraint, as the digital platform had to be ready by 23 April 2018, the annual date on which the Opera held an international press conference to announce its new season. The site was put online on the day of the announcement of the new 2018-2019 season.

This constraint has been transformed into an asset thanks to a well-tried working methodology and close project management. The project was carried out on time and the reputation of the digital platform benefited from media coverage of the annual press conference of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège and from heavy traffic linked to the very popular opening of subscription sales.


  • Exceptional and inspiring visual identity of the Opera
  • Well-documented target audiences
  • High quality visuals of shows
  • Excellent collaboration with the ORW communication team

The solution

During this major web project, we put all our expertise and agility into action in mastering technical solutions. The result: an innovative project that brings real added value to the services and products offered to end users.

UX Design

We understood it from the beginning: the real experience of the end user is to come and experience the magic of a lyrical show. Personas and their imaginary journey have been drawn and mapped, in response to the questions and needs of Internet users.

The structure of the pages and the editorial line were then shaped to offer a personalized immersion in the poetic and musical world of the Opera, while facilitating access to relevant information or the purchase of the ticket.

"Digging into these relationships in depth made it possible to determine content priorities to structure on the new site, even before working on the graphic design aspect"

- François Lamotte from Spade.

Information Architecture (AI)

The digital platform now takes into account the diversity of the Opera's audiences.

"Even if the user experience is an aspect that must be continuously optimized, Spade's reflection on audience navigation allows us to offer Internet users multiple entry points to find the information they are looking for," comments"

- Sophie Roman, Digital expert, Web - Social Media for the Royal Opera House

Moreover, the figures prove it: the abundant traffic on the website and the increase in ticket purchases since the launch underline that the new showcase allows the institution to be more in line with the new consumption practices of its public.

Graphic Design

To infuse the elegant and contemporary aesthetics of the operatic universe, the ORW's visual identity, created by the DogStudio agency, has been integrated into the website's graphics. Arnaud Di Nunzio joined our team for the occasion. The visuals of the shows were enhanced through games of transparency and animation of visual elements: this vast series of interactions proposed by the Spade agency add to the magic of the experience.

"The website (...) is a reflection of what the ORW wishes to reflect both in Belgium and internationally. We find the elegance and simplicity we were looking for. »

- Sophie Roman


The challenge that was presented to us: to create a platform that can manage all the shows of the current season, to archive the past seasons, as well as present the multiplicity of casts, with a directory of 1200 artists and integrate a flexible online ticketing system

At the technical development level, we do not have a ready-made solution: solutions evolve rapidly, and it is necessary to offer tools adapted to the technical specifications and the varied needs of customers. Our team keeps a watch and works with several CMS and technologies,

For the realization of the ORW digital platform, the following tools have been selected:

WordPress + Themosis framework

This pair of tools provides many functions that have proven to be ideal for the Opera's digital platform. The Themosis framework, an open source library developed by a Belgian agency in Arlon, integrates into the WordPress ecosystem as well as any other PHP modules. Proof of its effectiveness: it has already been installed more than 65,000 times. This technological environment has already proved itself with the creation of the Belgian Red Cross website.

Themosis will automatically search for the associated elements to complete the display of the pages. Thus, automating the distribution and use of content greatly simplifies the work of the ORW communication team. For example, a new encoded video is automatically integrated on 4 to 10 pages, without having to access all these pages to create updates. The same applies to the latest news related to a show. In short, it makes it possible to meet many flexibility challenges!


Utick, an online booking system chosen by the Opera has been integrated. Utick is a young actor who has managed to carve out an honourable place for himself by innovating and proposing an approach adapted to the needs (flexibility) of cultural actors.

Finally, we wanted above all to set up digital interfaces that would match the quality of the visuals of the shows developed by DogStudio in Namur. We have created a user experience that focuses on the small details of the visual universe of the Opéra Royal de Liège Wallonie.

Atelier à Opéra de LiègeAtelier à Opéra de LiègeAtelier à Opéra de Liège

Opéra Royal de Liège Wallonie website : open the main menu from Spade on Vimeo.

Visit the website

Sophie Roman | Web & social media

In addition to the skills of the technicians, it is above all the human qualities of Spade that we would like to highlight. It is increasingly rare, especially in digital, to have the opportunity to meet partners who have such a strong sense of service, who are honest and transparent in their pricing, and who offer us advice that has real added value.

This new website allows us to be more in line with the new consumption habits of our public.

It is obvious that an institution such as ORW, with artists from all over the world who are our first ambassadors, must offer a modern and visually "sexy" interface. It is an essential business card in our communication abroad.