Every year, opera lovers flock to beautiful Torre del Lago in the province of Lucca, Tuscany, located between the Tyrrhenian Sea and Lake Massaciuccoli, to revel in the sound of the annual Puccini Festival.
Staged at the Gran Teatro all’Aperto Giacomo Puccini, the festival attracts around 40,000 attendees each year. Maestro Puccini himself who came here to compose and relax, wanted his operas to be performed in Torre del Lago.
His dream came true in 1930 when his friends staged the first Puccini open-air opera with “La Bohème”.
In 2020, the pandemic affected every part of public life, and the Puccini Festival was no exception. Traditionally performed without amplification, distancing requirements meant that the orchestra strength had to be reduced.
This, in turn, meant that the remaining musicians were unable to sonically fill the auditorium, so, for the first time, sound reinforcement was contemplated.
The Festival’s Artistic Director, Maestro Giorgio Battistelli, turned to BH audio, the renowned Italian audio company, which for decades has specialized in both indoor and outdoor classical music, jazz and world music festivals.
As it happens, Massimo Carli, Chief Sound Engineer of BH audio, had developed a concept that fits the Puccini Festival’s needs like a glove: a proven combination of a Lawo mc²36 console and d&b Soundscape technology.
The result was a resounding success, and so the orchestra has performed to rave reviews ever since with BH audio as its audio service provider.
The open-air stage and auditorium in Torre del Lago do not accommodate suspended loudspeakers, so Carli used 98 speakers on 62 Soundscape outputs closely positioned behind the audience.
“This loudspeaker arrangement, combined with our Lawo mc²36 console and the d&b DS100 processors, delivers a pleasing natural sound experience for the entire audience, no matter where they are seated,” says Carli.
“The mc²36 MKII console with its A__UHD Core technology gives me access to 256 processing channels, available at both 48 and 96 kHz, and can manage an I/O capacity of 864 channels,” Carli explains.
“Thanks to its native IP technology, the Lawo console offers impressive capabilities and flexibility. We’re very pleased with the result – and most importantly, so are the Festival attendees!”