Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment (NWE) partnered with Shaanxi Tourism Group’s, Legend Performances, for the world premiere of the musical, The Sound of the Silk Road, at the Shanxi Grand Theatre in Xi’an, China this summer. Given that key members of NWE would be required to participate remotely, the communications solution was of immense importance to producers, who turned to Beijing-based, Panda Dream Quan Cultural Development Co., Ltd (磐德泉文化发展有限公司, PDQ), for consultation about their on-site and remote production needs. For the rehearsals and the world premiere, PDQ supplied a comprehensive Clear-Com® system with a combination of FreeSpeak II®Digital Wireless Intercom, HelixNet® Digital Network Partyline, LQ® Series of IP Interfaces, Agent-IC® Mobile App, and the newly released Station-IC™ Virtual Desktop Client.
The Sound of the Silk Road commemorates the city of Xi’an as the origin of the Silk Road—a network of trade routes connecting China with Europe and the Middle East—during the Han Dynasty over 2000 years ago. The production is a culmination of the world’s best Chinese and American Broadway artists that brings ancient Chinese culture onto the modern stage. It features acrobats, musicians, magicians, and life-size puppets, the synchronization of which, requires incredible coordination and communication between teams.
“The producers paid a lot of attention to the communication solution for this show,” explained PDQ’s Project Leader, Ye Lynn. “They requested a reliable wireless system for onsite use that also satisfied their need for multiple channels and point-to-point communication.”
A combination of HelixNet and FreeSpeak II were deployed in the Ankang Theatre for rehearsals, and then in the Shanxi Grand Theatre for the premiere, with FreeSpeak II transceivers strategically placed for optimal coverage throughout the spaces. The system was used in conjunction with HXII-BP HelixNet 2-channel full-duplex digital beltpacks, HKB-2X HelixNet 4-channel speaker stations and HRM-4X HelixNet 4-channel remote stations.
“Existing COVID restrictions complicated our communications needs for the timing of the premiere,” Ye Lynn continued. “Team members from Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment, design team members in Germany, as well as performers and various other contributors based all around the world could not travel to China to participate in rehearsals, so their contributions had to be made remotely.”
To address the production’s remote needs, LQ was integrated into the onsite FreeSpeak II and HelixNet configuration. Remote users with the Agent-IC mobile app onto their smart devices or the Station-IC client on their Windows or MacOS desktop could connect to LQ over IP to access the onsite comms network in the theatre from their locations in New York, Germany and more.
“The combination of LQ with Agent-IC and Station-IC successfully solved the remote problem by allowing international contributors to communicate as if they were all in the same room,” said Ye Lynn. “Clear-Com’s new Station-IC is an exceptional product—the desktop app provided a flawless solution, and we will definitely be purchasing more licenses in the near future!”
The musical has experienced major success with Chinese audiences since its premiere in August 2021, and in 2022 it will take permanent residence in a purpose-built theatrical venue in Xi’an’s new theme park, Silk Road Paradise, followed by an international tour.