RAC Delivers L-ISA Immersive Audio Experience for ‘Daughter of the Party’ Opera at China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts RAC Delivers L-ISA Immersive Audio Experience for ‘Daughter of the Party’ Opera ...
Sound designer He Biao designed a live immersive experience for the restaging of a classic national opera
BEIJING, China – December 2023 – Originally staged in 1991 as an ode to the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Daughter of the Party has been performed more than 600 times since. Thirty years later, as part of the CCP’s centennial, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) restaged the opera in ‘The Giant Egg,’ its ellipsoidal, titanium shell home. The theatre, which is built on 165,000 square meters of land in the Xicheng District of Beijing, is the largest theatre complex in Asia. The Daughter of the Party was performed in the 2,207-seat main Opera Hall, ten stories underground.
NCPA performers Lei Jia and Liao Changyong, who starred in the production three decades ago, reprised their original roles. Along with these familiar faces in the lead roles, the NCPA asked the original director Wang Jun, to lead the production. Mr. Wang was honored to lead the cast again, now with a fresh and modern take on its stage design and audio-visual production, as the NCPA brought modern technology, including spatial audio mixing, to the celebratory production.
The story is set in 1935 and follows the journey of a female CCP member in the mountains of China’s Jiangxi Province. The performance features nationalistic songs sung in classic Chinese opera style, in which a deep wealth of music is expressed through a range of singing techniques derived from local folk music. “The reboot of this masterpiece is not just a simple restoration; it needed to contain greater innovation,” explains Mr. Wang.
Fusing the musical format and creative drama approaches from Western opera with traditional Chinese songs, Daughter of the Party is unique. To bring an even more innovative approach, retaining the realism of the performance while adding clarity and detailed nuances of emotion, the production team called upon sound engineer He Biao, who had recently implemented L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound in the same NCPA Opera Hall for the national opera Minning Town.
Mr. He oversaw every aspect of sound design for Daughter of the Party, from the design of the immersive configuration to ensuring that a BlackTrax infrared sensor system for real-time tracking of opera performers would be seamlessly integrated into the L-ISA Controller. Mr. He knew that this combination would elevate the opera experience to new levels and meet the delicate nature of vocal speech that the production required in a theatre space. “A powerful immersive soundscape allows the audience to empathize with the characters and be moved by the story,” says Mr. He.
The L-ISA configuration consisted of a main scene system of five hangs of eight L-Acoustics Kara each, spread across the opera hall’s stage. In-fill consisted of two hangs of three A10 boxes, while two KS28 subwoofers provided low-frequency extension. Four sets of Syva and Syva Low were hidden behind the stage curtains to deliver on-stage monitoring for opera performers. The system was delivered by Beijing Dadong Huahan Audio Visual Equipment Co., Ltd and received technical support from local L-Acoustics Certified Provider Distributor, Rightway Audio Consultants.
The anniversary performances of Daughter of the Party delivered an engaging visual and audio experience, immersing theatre audiences over two weekends. “The high-end and advanced technology L-Acoustics offers allowed the audience to ignore the presence of a technical system, detach themselves from reality, and fully engage in the story as it unfolded right before their eyes,” concludes Mr. He Biao.
Learn more about Rightway Audio Consultants at www.racpro.net