World's First Silent Opera with Audio Technica

Opera Australia Announces World’s First Silent Opera using Audio-Technica Headphones

The world’s first large-scale, live silent opera performance will premiere in Sydney when Opera Australia stages Sydney Opera House – The Opera: The Eighth Wonder, using the famous building as an opera stage for the first time.
October 28 – November 5 | 5 performances | Starring Adam Frandsen, Gerry Connolly Directed by David Freeman| Conducted by Anthony Legge
A huge cast, chorus and orchestra have wrapped up a one of a kind show at the Opera House. They performed to a 3,000 strong crowd through state-of-the-art Audio Technica headphones. The unique experience of a ‘silent opera’ allows the audience to enjoy the pure sounds of the opera like nothing before, as the audience are invited to an evening that immerses themselves in a cocooned world of sight and sound.
The opera told the dramatic true story of the creation of the world’s most famous building and the coming of age of Australia. Danish tenor Adam Frandsen plays architect Jørn Utzon, Gerry Connolly plays the Queen, Martin Buckingham plays the NSW Premier and Stacey Alleaume plays a young singer, dreaming of singing at the Sydney Opera House.

The idea behind the project was conceived by Opera Australia, who have combined the traditional art-form and a narrative about 1960s Australia with the latest in technologically advanced sound design, staging, projection, lighting and 3D printing. The Sydney Opera House and its famous steps was used as the main stage for the performance, this a very first for any event held at the venue. Attendees were treated to fast paced action, where platforms glided across the 100 metre-wide steps, giant screens unfurled to display historic photos, and an amalgamation of projections and lighting effects completed the son-et-lumiere spectacle. 
The award winning sound-designer for the project, Tony David Cray described the main aim of the project “to give each member of the audience, regardless of where they are sitting, the kind of sonic experience more usually experienced in high-end cinemas.” Mr. Cray delved into the technical side of the project, especially the role that the headphones played in understating the type of sound quality that can be achieved as “Up there with audiophile and studio quality.” He continued “We are going to hear so much more of the dynamic range than you would if you were listening through a PA system." With more than eight months of careful planning and testing, what was once just an idea has finally come to fruition, played out right before Mr. Cray’s eyes and ears!

The people at Opera Australia were thrilled to present a major event celebrating the creation and ongoing success of a great architecturally technical feat and international icon. The staging was ambitious, and no doubt was a raucous success from the rave reviews from some of the audience participants. Using the opera as the basis of a spectacular, technology-driven outdoor event and hopefully there will be more to come after the successes of The Eighth Wonder.

Courtesy of Opera Australia

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