StageTech, Inc. brings dramatic sound to opera depicting World War I trenches

Mester opera

StageTech founder Bill Mester recently celebrated his 20th season as Audio Designer for Austin Opera. His latest design was for the critically acclaimed performance of Silent Night, an opera inspired by historical events in 1914 when soldiers on both sides of World War I put down their arms to celebrate Christmas Eve.

Among Bill’s many productions, Silent Night stood out for its requirements for sound effects, surround sound, and live performance mix. The stage was dominated by a three-story set that represented the trenches of Scottish, French, and German soldiers. For the opening battle scene, sounds of bombs and rifle shots created the tension of life and death struggles on the front lines.

“This production was both challenging and rewarding,” says Bill.

He effectively supplemented The Long Center’s house systems with StageTech professional audio rental inventory. A variety of Alcons Audio products were deployed, including the LR7 Pro-Ribbon micro-line array for orchestra fold back monitors to principle singers on stage. Alcons VR8 Pro-Ribbon full-range speakers were stealthily rigged within the three-story set for the chorus nestled in the trenches. Alcons Sentinel amps/DSP were also used. Electro-Voice ETX-18P powered subwoofers were used to enhance the low end and EVU-2082 as rear surround sound speakers.

As reviewed in The Austin Chronicle by Trey Gutierrez:

Somewhere in the distance, a bomb’s sudden boom is met by a hellish chorus of rifle shots. In the blink of an eye, it seems, war has broken out on stage.”

Bill uses his vast experience with theatrical productions to help StageTech clients achieve dramatic effects for their events. Consult Bill for your audio-visual needs.


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