At the end of August, the city of Astrakhan in the southern Russia, hosted an impressive classical music event which gathered an audience of more than 5,000 people. Set Inside the old walls of the Astrakhan Kremlin, a fortress that began construction in the 16th century, the Astrakhan State Theatre of Opera and Ballet performed an open-air presentation of the famous opera, Prince Igor, by Alexander Borodin.
On the night of the performance, the central square of the Kremlin was transformed into the seating area while the beautiful Cathedral of the Assumption and adjacent buildings served as the stage backdrop. A temporary 40 x 20 m platform was assembled for the orchestra at center stage.
All sound equipment used for the performance, including a main K-array PA system, Allen & Heath dLive mixing consoles, and Audio-Technica microphones and wireless systems, were provided by Russian distributor MixArt.
“We worked previously with The Astrakhan Opera Theater on a few other projects including the Delta Jazz Festival, the premier of Giuseppe Verdi's Traviata and The Damnation of Faust at The Moscow Bolshoi Theater. They were extremely happy with the results and they wanted to achieve the same level of success for this project.
We were able to rely on a similar setup of equipment to meet the challenging conditions of an open-air opera performance,” says Vadim Scherbakov, the head of MixArt office in the south region and the chief sound engineer of the project at the Astrakhan Kremlin.
The main PA system consisted of two line arrays of 6 Dragon-KX12 12" coaxial point sources paired with four Thunder-KMT218 dual 18” subwoofer. Two Pinnacle-KR802 portable systems were used as delay speakers and two Pinnacle-KR102 systems were used as front fills to ensure even coverage of the entire seating area.
“The sound quality surpassed all our expectations,” says Scherbakov. “K-array provided crystal clear and natural sound while being compact and almost invisible! One of our major concerns was to make sure that the audience would hear the true vocals, choir and orchestra instruments as if they were in the theater without sound reinforcement and the K-array systems did more than help us meet that aim!”