Metropolitan Opera Performs a Summer Outdoor Spectacular

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BROOKYLN, NY--This summer at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY, the Metropolitan Opera delivered an outdoor concert to a 50,000-strong crowd with a Meyer Sound system. Organized by America's largest classical music organization, the mammoth spectacular was headlined by operatic superstars Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna, who were accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of Ion Marin.

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The Meyer Sound system at the event was based on a design that has been used for years in outdoor events for both the Met and the New York Philharmonic. Only this time the system was super-sized, with the main stage system anchored by M3D line array loudspeakers, augmented by 14 40-foot delay towers carrying a total of 148 powerful MILO line array loudspeakers.

"This was easily the largest concert I've ever done," states PJ Volpe, head of sound for the Metropolitan Opera and the event's FOH mixer. "But the result was absolutely wonderful. It was the best show in my mixing career."

Domonic Sack, executive vice president of New York-based Sound Associates, presided over the intensive logistical effort, while the company's Bob Hanlon engineered the system expansion with assistance from Josh Marks. Equipment came largely from Sound Associates' own inventory, supplemented by the MILO loudspeakers owned by Taylor, MI-based Thunder Audio and Hampstead, NH-based Rainbow Productions.

The two primary challenges for the Sound Associates team were ensuring a seamless transition from the main stage to the delays, and providing uniform coverage throughout the vast expanse with no gaps and minimal overlap. Meyer Sound's Galileo loudspeaker management system, with six Galileo 616 processors, proved to be instrumental in meeting these goals.

"The Galileos made this huge system manageable," maintains Sack. "For example, you could group all of the delay towers in a ring and adjust them all together. You could identify what you were doing immediately, without fear that you might be making a mistake. That's a great feeling."

According to Sack, the event brought together an ideal combination of technology and teamwork. "These large jobs need the right equipment," Sack notes, "but it's also in the logistics, the planning and the people. This was a great team effort, and that's why it was so successful."

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