Teatro Regio di Torino (Turin Royal Theatre), one of Italy’s most famous and prominent opera houses, recently installed a Soundcraft Vi6â„¢ digital console as part of an equipment upgrade.
The theatre dates back to the 1740’s when the Nuovo Teatro Regio (New Royal Theatre) was inaugurated. It went through several changes of use before being restored to its original name, and after a period of financial crisis it was taken over by the municipality in 1870.
After the destruction by fire of the Teatro Regio in 1936, it was intended that the Teatro Carignano would serve as the main opera venue for the city until the new L-shaped theatre, with its striking interior, reopened in 1973 with a production of Verdi’s Vespri Siciliani, directed by Maria Callas and Giuseppe Di Stefano.
With a new acoustic shell designed to improve the sound, the main theatre seats 1,750 (including 37 boxes around the perimeter) while the smaller Piccolo Teatro Regio takes a further 600 people.
The theatre has a long association with Soundcraft (a Series 1600 24-channel desk dates back to 1981, while in the control room of the Piccolo there’s an old Series 600). Two years ago the theatre purchased a 32-channel Soundcraft MH3 analogue desk from distributors Audio Equipment, which continues to mix monitors.
Audio Equipment have maintained continuity with the brand, recommending the Vi6 for the main FOH position because the three house technicians are from the analogue school, and only one day’s training was required. The console can also be used for recording the operatic performances and classical music using an RME MADI interface and Pro Tools.
The Vi6 also met the venue’s requirements for a large number of inputs, said Audio Equipment’s Danilo Meroni. “Normally 40 or 48 channels would be plenty but here they have 64.”?
The local rack is situated in the control room where there is a full analogue system with a large matrix linked with a short Cat5 under-floor cable run.
Turin Royal Theatre is particularly pleased with the flexibility offered by the Vi6’s internal matrix — and the possibility to configure and store many shows (eg Rigoletto) and then recall the set-up (by plugging in the USB key) when the production returns the following year.
Aside from the Recall facility, the quality of the mic pre-amp section was vital in view of the condenser mic set up with operatic performances.
“But beyond that they really love the Vistonics interface — you can see 32 strip icons at all times — and the compact size and the colour co-ordination of the knobs; the possibility of being able to use two people on the interface is great.”?
The five icons per channel offer essential information for 32 channels at all times. One icon per bank of eight channels can be adjusted at any time by simply touching the icon.
For Audio Equipment the next step now will be to replace the entire analogue matrix system with fibre.
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