My dissertation, Bringing Down the House: Situating and Mediating Opera in the Twenty-First Century," challenges the structural primacy of the opera house by studying opera companies that move beyond its walls. I argue for a new assessment of place, spectatorship and technology in contemporary operatic performance. I introduce the term Alt-Op to define the work of independent and regional Canadian and American opera companies that, from 2012 to 2017, employ new modes of viewership to rebrand and reshape opera as an art form in a digital economy. I use the concept of Alt-Op as an alternative to both stereotypes of opera that exist in public culture, as well as the conventional relationships between sight and sound, spectacle and audience that are established by the opera house. Although recent studies broadly acknowledge the role of digital media in opera production, these analyses rely primarily on traditional conceptions of the opera house and the opera audience. In considering site-specific and digital practices of mediation, my dissertation, therefore, offers a critical analysissss of the effects of digital media consumption on traditional Western art forms in the twenty-first century. These changing entertainment interfaces affect the experiences of both spectators and performers. By incorporating ethnographic research into reception studies, I foreground the lived experiences of performers competing in a changing "gig" economy with implications for workers beyond the artistic sector. Analysis of industry rhetoric and practices that focus on evolving operatic marketing strategies, including training given to singers, collaborations between alternative opera companies, and festival-based performance practices applied to longer seasons provides a shift from analysis of "onstage" productions to "backstage" process. With this methodological approach, I situate operatic performance within contemporary economic ecosystems, with potential implications for analysis of traditional in-house productions. At a time in which experimental performance is receiving recognition on the national stage, it is essential to critically consider the forms operatic performance may take beyond the institutional walls of the opera house. In turn, these processes of inquiry illuminate the networks of production adn consumption around institutional and experimental artistic culture in the contemporary United States and Canada.