Our challenge was to stage an opera in the park—the New York Metropolitan Opera for 100,000 people in Central Park, that is. We had to assure that each audience member had a superb audio experience, even if they sat six-hundred feet from the stage. And then this outdoor venue had to relocate and do it all again the very next day.
The largest portable opera performance project to date presented throughout the five New York boroughs over one summer. Three semi-truck trailers rolled into the parks and unfolded into a complete stage able to accommodate an orchestra and operatic performance, including full stage lighting.
The Met challenged us to provide an opera hall audio experience to audiences exceeding 100,000 people in an outdoor venue. Those sitting close to the front could enjoy the actual sounds coming from the stage. Those farther back needed to have the opportunity to enjoy the same audio experience.
TechMD, Inc. deployed remote-controlled battery-powered repeater towers spaced in 75-foot semi-circles in concentric rings around the stage to achieve this. Each tower was self-powered, linked to the house mix via RF-wireless audio, and time-delayed to match stage sound as well as the audio from the other tower rings.
In addition to three-way speaker systems firing out into the audience, each tower also had two-way speakers processed to simulate the way sound bounces off the rear walls of a traditional performance space. No matter where one sat—up to six-hundred feet away—the audio experience was on par with the one received in a world-class opera house.
Then it all got packed up and moved to another park for the next night’s performance!
See the official program webpage here.