Unique Studer VISTA 8 is centrepiece of new Copenhagen Opera

December 14, 2004

Studer has created a unique version of its Vista 8 digital mixing console to grace the new Copenhagen Opera House, officially 'received' by the state of Denmark at a formal ceremony in October. The custom-built Vista provides two moveable front-of-house control surfaces, connected to each other and to the control room by fibre optic cable, which can be freely positioned anywhere in the theatre, from the control room to the auditorium.

A project worth DKK 2.5billion, the Opera House is set to be one of the most technically advanced theatres in the world. Located on Holmen, just across the water from the royal palace of Amalienborg, the 41,000m2 building has been designed by world-renowned Danish architect Henning Larsen, with acoustic design by Arup Acoustics. Entirely funded by charitable foundations chaired by Sir Mærsk McKinney Møller, the shipping tycoon and owner of Danish airline Maersk Air*, the Opera House has been gifted to the nation to be the new home of Det Kongelige Teater (the Royal Theatre).

The main auditorium seats approximately 1500 people. The performance space has been cleverly planned to allow for considerable acoustic flexibility - the orchestra pit providing for differing sizes of orchestra, which in turn allows for the auditorium seating capacity to be adjusted accordingly. The auditorium follows the horseshoe form that has historically proved to be acoustically and theatrically appropriate for opera.

The audio control room is centrally situated on the first of the three levels above the stalls. Racks for the Vista 8 front-of-house console are situated here, incorporating the DSP core, I/O frames, and power supplies. By moving the control system for the Vista 8 into the same rack, Studer's engineers have made it possible to have two moveable control surfaces, one with two input bays, and another with input and control bay. These lightweight frames are connected to the main rack by fibre optic cable. Complete freedom to move the frames anywhere in the house is enabled by a fibre patchbay with wall boxes in different positions. Each frame is so lightweight that it can be easily moved by two people. All Studer equipment has been supplied by Kinovox A/S, Studer's distributor in Denmark.

The concept of the remote bay was originally raised by another Studer customer, DetNorskeTeatret in Norway, in collaboration with Jarle Felin, Studer's sales director in the region, and who has played a key role in the specification of the Copenhagen console. The unique flexibility of the Vista system was the main reason that the Opera House chose Studer as a supplier, and the design of this console has benefited from considerable input from the Opera House technical team, led by Claus Wolter. 

In total, the Studer Vista 8 front-of-house console, with integrated digital routing matrix, is capable of offering up to 288 inputs and 144 outputs. The remote operating desk has 20+2 faders, while the remote bay has another 20 faders. The two units can be operated discretely in separate locations in the House, or fixed together, in the control room or in the auditorium. The versatility of the Vista 8 reflects the flexibility of the auditorium itself, which can be configured differently according to the requirements of the production.

The I/O frames holds 
- 120 MIC/LINE inputs 
- 48 analog Line output 
- 16 digital AES/EBU input/outputs, and
- 32 mono equivalent ADAT input and output channels

The Copenhagen Opera House will open with a Royal Command Performance on 15 January 2005. The first opera performance will be Verdi’s 'Aïda' on 26 January 2005, preceded by the first ballet performance, 'Three Companies – Three Works'', on 16 January 2005.

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