Compromises in orchestra pit design: A ten-year trench war in The Royal Theatre, Copenhagen

Anders Christian Gade, Bo Mortensen

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    Abstract

    The ``old stage'' of The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen-a classical horseshoe theatre with an almost flat audience floor and four balcony levels—is the primary opera and ballet theatre in Denmark. In the early 1980s the orchestra pit was enlarged and its size made flexible. However, in the following years this new flexibility caused a formal battle between the orchestra, the singers, and management, because each group had different interests as to how the pit should be configured for each new production. In the 1990s, increased concern about the musicians' hearing and the increase in the popularity of opera finally opened the way for a new renovation of the pit, which solved most of the problems. The paper describes the many lessons learned during the ten-year period in which the authors were involved with the case as acoustic consultants. Questions of how pit configuration influences mutual hearing and exposure levels in the pit, balance between singers and orchestra as judged by the audience, communication between stage and pit, as well as the influence of pit floor construction on orchestra timbre will all be illustrated by results of numerous objective measurements, subjective surveys, and computer simulations.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAcoustical Society of America. Journal
    Volume103
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)2786-2786
    ISSN0001-4966
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1998
    Event16th International Congress on Acoustics and 135th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America - Seattle, WA, United States
    Duration: 20 Jun 199826 Jun 1998
    Conference number: 16/135

    Conference

    Conference16th International Congress on Acoustics and 135th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America
    Number16/135
    CountryUnited States
    CitySeattle, WA
    Period20/06/199826/06/1998

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright (1998) Acoustical Society of America. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America.

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