Each show has a completely different audio requirement (photo: Karli Cadel)
USA - When Cooperstown, New York, came alive for the triumphant return of The Glimmerglass Festival, sound designer Andrew Harper called upon Masque Sound to provide a custom audio equipment package for the summer opera and musical theatre festival.
“Normally all productions are done inside at the opera house where there is no amplification at all,” says Harper. “This year, the producers created an outdoor stage on the lawn, with the singers and audience outside but the orchestra was located inside. I was tasked with combining the two worlds of the singers and the orchestra, while also creating a great experience for the audience outdoors, all while keeping everyone socially distanced.”
Harper had worked with Masque Sound previously and had full confidence they could provide all the equipment he needed to be successful. “I had the pleasure of working with Masque Sound for Theatre Under The Stars in Houston and I knew they would be great to work with for this unique season,” says Harper. “I called Scott Kalata at Masque Sound very early on in the process and he was unbelievably helpful in tracking down all of the equipment on our list.”
For the PA system, Masque Sound provided 32 weatherised Meyer Sound Leopard line arrays. “The stage set up had a unique audience geometry as it was not a completely symmetrical system,” says Harper. “As a result, I wanted something that had great imaging, punch, clarity and power. Since the orchestra was located inside and amplified, I needed to be able to reproduce them in a very musical manner along with the opera singers. Each show has a completely different audio requirement, from purely classical opera to a New Orleans-inspired jazz band to traditional Broadway. The Leopards allowed me to create a different experience for each one of those productions.”
The microphone package consisted of Point Source Audio’s new GO2-8WD Dual Element Headset mics for the singers while the ensemble was outfitted with CO-8WD headset mics. The orchestra featured a mix of Schoeps, DPA and Shure microphones. Masque Sound provided a Yamaha Rivage PM7 with two RPio622 I/O racks.
Scott Kalata, director of sales, Masque Sound, says, “It was such a privilege to re-boot and re-start with someone as experienced and friendly as Andrew Harper. Even though it’s not quite business as usual, Andrew was able to make this complex event unfold like magic and we’re grateful to be a part of it.”

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