SSL in control at Royal Opera House
Friday, 8 March 2019
rohThe Royal Opera House following at £50m refurbishment Photo: Luke Hayes
UK - The Royal Opera House (ROH) recently underwent a comprehensive refurbishment to improve its facilities, including redesigning the Linbury Theatre (see the report in LSi March).
The £50m Open Up refurbishment project also created a new café and improved restaurant and shop.
The Linbury Theatre presents chamber work for opera and dance as well as live orchestral performances. The ROH also has a thriving immersive live to cinema department, and a broadcast team. To make workflow as flexible, and as smooth as possible, Martin Adams, and the in-house technical team have upgraded the space, deploying an SSL L500 Plus console at the heart, with a Dante AoIP infrastructure.
From the initial audio makeover discussions for the Linbury Theatre, the idea of a Dante solution really appealed to Martin Adams and his team, and that got them thinking about which console to go for.
“The fact that a Dante infrastructure is built directly into the SSL L500 Plus was very interesting to us,” explains Adams. “It's the AoIP that you want - firstly, not to intrude on how you work; and secondly, once you have done an initial setup, you've kind of done the work, and everything else becomes easier. This also means making the system larger becomes very simple in the future.
“Audio for us in the ROH is not a form of amplification, it's a compositional tool. A composer comes in and looks at the audio system exactly like that and that sets us apart from how people use audio in theatrical spaces; the console becomes part of the artistic input of the show.”
Another reason Adams wanted to go with an SSL system was the quality of audio. “At this level, the sonics are very, very important; and when listening to the L500 Plus against other devices, there was simply no contest,” he states.
(Jim Evans)

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