COPENHAGEN, DENMARK--Four years after its major success with Thor, The Royal Danish Theatre (Det Kongelige Teater) is presenting its fifth and biggest outdoor production so far, as Alexandre Dumas’ classic The Three Musketeers story is played out by more than 200 participating actors, singers, horses and stuntmen — to loud pyro accompaniment. The event is taking place in Ulvedalene, Dyrehaven, a public deer forest north of Copenhagen, situated next to a famous 1000-year-old oak tree.
The show has been in the planning stage for a number of years by the famous Copenhagen venue, which incorporates The Royal Danish Theater, Royal Danish Opera and Royal Danish Ballet under one roof.
The production has proved a huge challenge for FOH sound engineer, Jonas Vest, who for the past five years has been the resident tonemester. He was fortunate to be able to call on his past experience, having been involved with the programming and sound FX design for Thor.
Talks began in earnest on The Three Musketeers production late last year with the idea of creating a festival-type atmosphere. This time around, the 90-minute adaptation of the Dumas classic (which runs until the first week in July) tasked Vest with balancing the sound between the Lyngby-Taarbæk Concert Band, a huge choir and sound effects in a surround environment.
To facilitate this, he purchased a 64-input Soundcraft Vi6 digital console from Nordic Rentals (sourced through LydRommet, Harman’s Denmark distributor) — a decision which he described as “straightforward”. For in terms of workflow, he and sound design colleague Karsten Wolstad had also been involved in the procurement of the theatre’s two Studer Vista 5’s (which use the full Vistonics interface, similar to the Vistonics II interface as fitted on the Vi6), while the Opera House also has a Vista 8 as its FOH desk.
The endorsement of the Vi6 was further boosted by the arrival of the new V4.0 software, which provided major advantages, he said. “I was a little nervous because the update arrived in the middle of rehearsals — but I had no need to worry as the upload procedure was very simple; it has given us snapshot crossfades on all parameters and smoothes out the cue shift to give a neat transition.”
He added, “I love the Vistonics software and interface and the Vi6 is great for live production work. In terms of sound quality and ergonomics the desk sounds so much better and it’s easy and fast to generate your own configuration — there’s no comparison.”
One attribute that he draws on heavily is the ‘scope’ function. “I find it’s really useful to cope with the overlapping cues of orchestra and spoken words.”