New York (September 26, 2011)—Andrea Bocelli gave a free concert at Central Park’s Great Lawn on September 15. Firehouse Productions provided sound reinforcement for the event, deploying a sizable L-Acoustics rig.
Despite chilly temperatures and pouring rain, 60,000 opera and pop fans descended upon Central Park’s Great Lawn on September 15th to see and hear Andrea Bocelli’s highly-publicized free concert. Accompanied by the New York Philharmonic and Westminster Symphonic Choir, Bocelli performed some of his best-known pieces while sharing the stage with Ana Maria Martinez, Pretty Yende, Celine Dion, Tony Bennett, Chris Botti, David Foster, Bryn Terfel, Nicola Benedetti and Andrea Griminelli.
Sponsored by Italian pasta maker Barilla, the nearly three-hour concert was recorded by Thirteen/WNET for a national PBS broadcast of Great Performances airing on December 2nd. A CD and DVD, appropriately titled Andrea Bocelli Live in Central Park, will also be made available prior to the holidays, released on Sugar/Decca.
Firehouse Productions of Red Hook, NY provided the evening’s concert sound reinforcement system, which featured left and right arrays of a dozen L-Acoustics K1 paired with three Kara for downfill. Clusters of three Arcs were hung on the far sides of each K1 array to cover the front corners of the audience.
A total of 16 SB28 subs positioned under the front riser supporting the camera dolly delivered the low end, with an additional four SB28 per side set up in cardioid mode to complement the Arcs outfills and enlarge the LF arc delay coverage. The K1, Kara and SB28 systems were collectively powered by a total of 22 LA8 amplified controllers, all housed in LA-Rak touring racks.
“As expected, K1 performed extremely well,” notes sound designer and FOH engineer Andrea Taglia, who has worked with Bocelli for the past five years. “The system is absolutely uniform on the horizontal axis, its long throw capacity is amazing, and it was very effective in bringing a nice sound image back to the stage – even though our six delay towers were positioned so widely across the Great Lawn at the request of the video director. Although there were 60,000 people in the audience that evening, considering that Bocelli’s last CD sold five million copies, the true focus of this concert was on capturing a pristine live recording.”
“The line producer congratulated us during the sound check/dress rehearsal, and then again after the concert,” he adds. “Event Resources’ production manager also congratulated us after the show and commented on how the live sound was perfect, even at the end of the lawn. And the team at the Sugar label, who conceived and organized the event with Bocelli, were absolutely overjoyed because, again, their primary objective was to achieve a great recording, which they did.”
Bocelli’s Central Park concert