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Sound Designer Tony Meola: Meyer Sound Constellation Adds Dimension to Wicked in Mexico

Mexico City’s Teatro Telcel is hosting the first Spanish adaptation of the musical Wicked, with a record-breaking 50,000 tickets sold in its first five weeks. As with eight other Wicked productions worldwide, renowned Broadway sound designer Tony Meola has chosen Meyer Sound as the audio foundation, this time including Mexico’s first Constellation® acoustic system.

“Constellation works amazingly well with amplified musicals in houses like Teatro Telcel,” observes Meola. “Amplified sound in a dead acoustical environment makes it sound like the room doesn’t have any dimension to it. But with Constellation, all of a sudden the sound is given dimension, and everything sounds much more real. I was surprised when I heard the effect, and I imagine it would be very welcome in many of the road houses where Wicked tours will play well into the future.”

To ensure Teatro Telcel would accommodate events ranging from symphonic concerts and operas to hard rock shows and Broadway musicals, the architects specified a dry baseline acoustic signature so it could be augmented as needed through Constellation’s acoustical adaptability. The heart of Constellation is a D-Mitri® digital audio platform with 20 modules and 57 ambient sensing microphones. After the patented VRAS™ acoustical algorithms are applied, sound is distributed to the system of 114 Stella-4 and 18 Stella-8 installation loudspeakers, 48 UP-4XP 48 V loudspeakers, 38 MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers, 13 UPJunior™ loudspeakers, and 24 MM-10XP 48 V subwoofers. The Constellation system was installed by Naucalpan de Juárez-based Teletec.

“The effect of Constellation is remarkable,” says Meola. “In final rehearsals for Wicked, when we had the system off, the associate director commented that ‘It sounds very canned.’ We turned on Constellation, and I never heard that comment again.”

For sound reinforcement, Meola has specified main line arrays of 20 MINA™ and 22 M1D line array loudspeakers each, as well as six UPJ-1P VariO™ loudspeakers and seven UPA-1P, nine UPJunior, nine UPM-1P, 16 UPM-2P, and 52 MM-4 loudspeakers. Four 700-HP and two 600-HP subwoofers provide low end, while system drive and optimization are provided by a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with five Galileo 616 processors.

PRG (Production Resource Group) Mexico provided and installed the sound reinforcement system, in conjunction with the technical crew of OCESA. OCESA, Mexico’s leading theatrical and concert promotion organization, operates Teatro Telcel.

Meola points out that Meyer Sound systems have been a constant in the design of the Wicked franchise, and have made a significant contribution to its storied success. “There’s never been a time when I was unhappy with what I was hearing from the loudspeakers,” he says. “We’ve made major changes in consoles and radio mics in step with technology, but the base Meyer system continues as the foundation of the show’s sound.”

Located in Mexico City’s trendy Polanco district, Teatro Telcel was conceptualized by famed Spanish architect Antón García-Abril and executed by Mexican architect José De Arimatea Moyao.

Wicked currently boasts nine resident and touring productions worldwide, presented in six languages. It has broken numerous box-office records on Broadway, and on national and international tours.

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