For the third year running, NEXO’s STM Series line array, matched with Yamaha digital consoles, was the sound reinforcement system of choice for Opera Wroclawska’s annual open-air production in the city of Wroclaw, Poland. Audio rental services company PogoArt was commissioned to handle sound reinforcement for this year’s spectacular outdoor performance of Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’.
The annual outdoor event by Wroclaw’s opera company is staged with the highest production values to its audience of nearly 2,500 people. Taking full advantage of the wide spaces of Plac Wolnosci in Wroclaw, the show uses a 3-tiered stage, that is 35 metres wide and 20 metres deep: sets are colossal and dramatic, and accommodate a huge cast, including a 130-person choir and 30-person ballet corps, as well as the opera company.
Tanel Klesment was once again retained by the opera house to mix the spectacular. Hailing from Tallin, Estonia, Klesment has mixed ‘Nabucco’ and ‘Faust’ in previous years, working with the PogoArt team.
For the main system, PogoArt specified NEXO’s STM Series modular line array, using the compact M28 enclosures as the main modules, 12 per side. Subbass was provided by 16x S118 bins. Additional M28 cabinets were used for frontfill, and the whole system, running over Dante, was driven by 14x NXAMP4x4s. At FOH, Klesment was using a Yamaha Rivage PM7, flanked by RIO 3224-D units to manage the Dante network.
PogoArt’s Lukasz “Synek” Lison describes the very particular brief for these audio professionals, taking an art form out of its comfort zone.
“Producers specifically asked us to replicate the in-the-house opera experience and feeling. It wasn’t an easy job, because Wroclaw Opera does not use any PA at all in the House. So my main goal was to provide a sound system which can deliver as natural and uncoloured sound as possible. The faithful reproduction of natural dynamics was also a critical issue for the producers. The spectacle included a vast range of extreme pianissimo and fortissimo parts, which had to sound as natural as possible, without any distortion or any other unwanted artifacts.
“The implementation of NEXO STM M28 easily met both criteria mentioned above. Not to mention the brilliant YAMAHA RIVAGE console and the DPA and NEUMANN mics, specified by us because we insisted on the highest quality signal flow from the source to the speaker.
“Subs (S118) were used just to support the main system (60Hz crossover) in the lowest frequency range. The main goal for the sub design was to keep it consistent with the main system and to minimize the bleed to the stage. That is why I used the B2B configuration.
“There is no doubt that the open-air environment creates better opportunities for creating a grand scale show in terms of scenography, video mapping or light design. However, the producers/director insisted on keeping the spectacle reasonably quiet in order to preserve the dynamics and the “in-house” experience. Using a large-format sound system like STM gives us a chance to deliver an exceptional experience for the audience. In my opinion, the STM gave maximum possible clarity to the singers, while still delivering the most honest and ‘real’ sound possible. FOH engineer Tanel Klesment used only the HPF on most of the soloists and the audience and producers were more than pleased with the results.”