“THE SOUND OF ROYAL THEATRE”, MADRID

The operaMadame Butterfly at Teatro Real, Madrid, premiered on 27th 2017. It will be at the Royal Theatre for 20 shows. This opera is in three acts, with lyrics and orchestral score by Giacomo Puccini. The plot of this remarkably lyrical narrative tells the dramatic love story between a Naval Officer serving on the ‘USS Abraham Lincoln’ and a young Japanese woman he names ‘Madame Butterfly’.

I began working at The Royal Theatre of Madrid, on 12th June this year. I am part of the Sound Engineers Crew for the theatre. We have been busy setting up sound equipment for our performance of this World-Famous Opera.

The Royal Theatre was founded in 1850 and has a seating capacity of 1800. It has a large `Orchestra Pit´, which houses the orchestra during live performances. The theatre´s concept of `sound reinforcement’ is completely different to anywhere I have previously worked.

The production philosophy for this opera, is that the singers must project their voices without any amplification from a microphone. We have therefore set up the microphones in order to amplify the ambient sound from the stage and to capture medium and high frequencies from the performers.

We installed 4 Shoeps mk4 Cardiod on the apron of the Stage. To capture the accompanying musical score we set up a number of microphones in the Orchestra pit. We placed 4 Bruegel Omni-directional microphones on the back wall behind the director; 2 Bruegel Cardiods microphones in the corners to have a ST image, 2 Shoeps Omni-directional microphones inside the Orchestra Pit, 1 Schoeps mk4 for the Percussion, 1 Akg 414 for the bass and one Shoeps MS in order to mix in the violins. Neumman u87 is being used to capture the harp and other instruments:

-4 Bruegel 4006
-2 Bruegel 4011
-2 Schoeps mk2
-6 Mk4 Schoeps mk4
-3 Neumann u87

The Royal Theater has a Cluster from Kiva line array, with L- acoustic which covers `The Gods’ or Upper Balcony of the Theater. We have 4 UPM-1P from Meyer Sound as delay on the corners of the walls to provide more coverage of the sound within the Royal Theatre. At the same time the broadcast mixer we are using is a Studer Vista X. All of the monitors on stage are linked and send more than 40 matrix around the theater and TV channels, in order that the quality of the preamps and the flexibility of the mixer to send the signal is optimised.