RAC Digs Up L-ISA Immersive Audio Experience for Chinese Folk Opera ‘Minning Town’ RAC Digs Up L-ISA Immersive Audio Experience for Chinese Folk Opera ‘Minning Tow...
Sound designer He Biao and China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts deploy L-ISA for its first National Opera outing
BEIJING, China – June 2023 – The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in the Xicheng District of Beijing, with its stunning semi-spherical architecture, stands as the largest theatre complex in Asia. The center, designed by the French architect Paul Andreu, opened in 2007 and houses opera, theatre, music, and art exhibition halls within its ellipsoidal, titanium shell structure. Constructed on 165,000 square meters of land, the structure is referred to as The Giant Egg by locals. The building rises 46 meters high, but its performing arts facilities are housed beneath the surface, ten stories underground.
The 2,207-seat Opera Hall, which lies at the NCPA’s most subterranean level, hosted the production of ‘Minning Town’ performed by the republic’s National Opera, which ran in October last year and again in March this year. Co-organized by the NCPA and China’s Institute of Stage Design, the folk opera is based on an original TV series of the same name. It tells the tale of the emergent success of an immigrant industry in Tongning County near Yinchuan in the 1990s.
The sound team of the Stage Technology Department of the NCPA worked closely with one of China’s most in-demand sound designers, He Biao, to explore audio solutions for the production, which included close to a hundred speech, vocal, and ambient microphone signals throughout the show. The NCPA desired a more natural and pleasing auditory experience for the show than could be produced via a traditional stereo system. Mr. He knew that an L-ISA immersive audio system would deliver the results they were seeking. His extensive experience with L-ISA technology allowed him to pitch the use of this cutting-edge immersive sound technology for the project.
“I’ve delivered immersive sound solutions to a wide range of projects, from large-scale corporate events to music concerts,” says Mr. He. “I knew that L-ISA would deliver the dynamic, natural sound this large-scale production required.”
He Biao designed an L-ISA speaker configuration with a main scene system of five hangs of eight L-Acoustics Kara speakers each, spread across the opera hall’s stage. In-fill on both sides of the first and second-floor seating tiers consisted of eight L-Acoustics legacy V-DOSC speakers each. Two L-ISA Processor units managed spatial audio for the entire system. Local L-Acoustics Certified Provider Distributor, Rightway Audio Consultants, delivered the system.
To further enhance a dynamic and immersive audience experience, the technical team at NCPA used BlackTrax infrared sensor system for real-time tracking of lead opera performers. Seamlessly integrated into the L-ISA Controller, BlackTrax automatically tracks the performers’ movements on stage and translates those movements naturally into the L-ISA spatial mix, allowing Mr. He to concentrate his efforts on the creative immersive sound mix.
“Minning Town is the first time that L-ISA spatial audio has been deployed for a production by the National Opera,” says Mr. He. “The technology gave the production optimal clarity and allowed me to create a detailed, immersive audio mix that supported Minning Town’s deep and meaningful folk tale brilliantly,” he concludes.