The main PA rig comprised two hangs of six MLA each side of the stage, with a single MLD downfill at the base of each hang to draw the image down (photo © LiveAudio Tobias Duderstaedt)
Germany - A special televised concert of La Bohème - a new production in the NDR Classic Open Air series - took place recently in Hannover's Maschpark.

Puccini's famous opera was not only heard live by an audience of 20,000 through Martin Audio's award-winning MLA loudspeaker array system, but by television viewers tuning into NDR throughout the country and those picking up the live stream on

The 2,000 ticketed concert goers in front of the stage were joined by crowds who gathered in the park, where they had an opportunity to witness the event (including rehearsal) for free.

Responsible for the event's sound system design was once again Georg Hentschel of Braunschweig based LiveAudio event technic GmbH. A specialist in classical shows, he had helped deliver the first classical open air concert (with MLA) in Hannover last year.

The main PA rig comprised two hangs of six MLA each side of the stage, with a single MLD downfill at the base of each hang to draw the image down. These were aided by a pair of Martin Audio MLX subs, stacked at the base of the PA tower (while further subs were recessed under the stage).

Six further W8LMD Minis, with vertically-arrayable wide dispersion characteristics, provided further nearfield coverage, actively driven by XTA and Crest.

However, because this year additional seating was extended out wide, the system needed to provide extreme horizontal coverage of 135 degrees and thus two six-element hangs of MLA Compact were deployed as outfills. "This solution for extended horizontal coverage really worked, and the MLA and MLA Compact were in perfect harmony," Georg Hentschel reports.

Feeding the system from FOH were a DiGiCo SD7 digital mixer, partnered at the stage end by an SD10 monitor desk.

"The real challenges were not only dealing with the direct volume from orchestra and singer and the wide coverage - but also the fact that the sound system for the audience could not interfere with the broadcast sound. Since we needed to be powerful and quiet at the same time this was the perfect job for MLA and the reason that I specified it. It's a great sounding system offering perfect coverage."

The concert saw Kery-Lynn Wilson conducting the NDR Radio Philharmonie, with choirs consisting of the Johannes-Brahms-Chor Hannover and Mädchenchor Hannover, Thus the tragic opera reached its inevitable conclusion in a way that no-one who attended will forget as Rodolfo (featuring Michael Fabiano's tenor) lamented the death of Mimi (fellow soloist, soprano Carmen Giannattasio).

(Jim Evans)

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