SSV acoustic solution for Hong Kong centre
Tuesday, 12 February 2019
xiqu-centre-entrance-smlThe Xiqu Centre is dedicated to the performance of Chinese opera
China - Sound Space Vision (SSV) was part of the design team for the Xiqu Centre, the first finished building in Hong Kong’s new West Kowloon Cultural District. The Xiqu Centre serves as the gateway to the district and is dedicated to the performance of Chinese opera (Xiqu) and as the centre for preservation and development of the variety of Chinese opera art forms.
SSV was responsible for the acoustics and audio systems in all the centre’s spaces, including both amplified and un-amplified performances in the 1073-seat Grand Theatre, and the 150-200-seat Tea House; a well-equipped Seminar Hall; large and small rehearsal facilities; a recording/broadcast suite; and all the retail, food and beverage areas connected to the Centre’s public ground-level Atrium.
“We were well-prepared for this particular form of opera house having spent many years visiting Hong Kong arts groups, and building on our enthusiasm of Asian arts while working on the theatre design and acoustics for Singapore’s Esplanade,” says Anne Minors, co-founder and design principal of SSV.
In planning the acoustics and audio design for the Xiqu Centre, and the Grand Theatre in particular, SSV took into account the heritage and expectations of Hong Kong audiences and practitioners, and those of visiting artists from mainland China and international patrons and artists.
SSV co-founder and acoustician Bob Essert explains: “The overall aesthetic aim of Xiqu is beauty in all aspects of performance. Practitioners talk of roundness of movement, singing, and instrumental tone. Vocal technique is very different from Western opera, and while individual instrument sounds are not unlike western instruments, the orchestrations and relation to the singers are quite different.”
The integration of audio systems and room acoustics for the Xiqu Centre allows a wide and continuous spectrum of “acoustical production” from highly amplified to nearly natural, while supporting the visual beauty of the productions.
(Jim Evans)

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