Madison, WI (August 11, 2004)–Saturday, July 17th marked the date for Madison, WI’s annual Opera in the Park, a free concert featuring the Madison Symphony Orchestra and some of opera’s rising stars. Attracting a crowd of approximately 10,000 to Garner Park, a lush, green landscape located in the heart of the city, the event featured sound reinforcement provided by Middleton, WI-based Full Compass and Bag End Loudspeakers.
Full Compass, like Bag End, donated the time and equipment required to make the evening a success. “One of the biggest challenges of miking a performance like this is trying to bring the same qualities of an indoor concert hall to the orchestra and singers outdoors,” Full Compass’ Jonathan Lipp commented. “To that end, I am a proponent of the idea that more is less, so I used as few elements as I could get away with.”
Lipp’s minimalist input scheme relied upon a sparse collection of only 11 microphones, including a pair of AKG C414s overhead micing the 50-piece orchestra, a Shure KSM44 serving as a spot-mic on harp, and four Shure KSM32s out front-mounted in their shock mounts for vocalists. “While quantity wasn’t necessary within our mic scheme, we didn’t skimp on quality,” Lipp added. “Using delay and a small amount of reverb, the technique proved a success. Judging form the audience reaction, I hope we get a chance to do it again next year.”
Under the direction of Steven White, the Madison Symphony Orchestra was joined onstage by the Madison Opera Chorus. The event was underwritten by Robert R. and Bette J. Birkhauser.