The 20th anniversary revival production of Elisabeth - the most successful German-language musical of all time, staged at Vienna’s Raimund Theatre – has been transformed into a spectacular occasion, now entering the sixth month of its run. The sound design created by Thomas Strebel of audiopool, Basel, characteristically features SOR vocal-localisation by virtue of a TiMax2 SoundHub delay-matrix and TiMax Tracker system and has received positive responses from critics and industry professional alike. The TiMax systems were purchased from Austrian Distributor ATEC Pro Audio GmbH by the Raimund Theatre’s owners Vereinigte Buhnen Wien, a major production company who own multiple shows and other theatres in Austria.
Composer of the original score and musical director of the current production, Sylvester Levay, observed it represented, “the first time I’ve been able to hear all the words in a musical production.”
Strebel has worked for many years with TiMax to promote a greater quality, clarity and intelligibility as standard in musical theatre sound design. With support from Out Board’s Robin Whittaker, who also assisted with onsite TiMax set up, Strebel’s design specification dictated that extra APG elements would be added to the original line-array system to create the distributed system configuration necessary for his source-oriented reinforcement (SOR) objectives.
Collecting all the radio mic signals together was a Stagetech Aurus console, which distributed them via optical MADI to a TiMax2-SoundHub-32S delay-matrix which in turn returned them back to the desk via MADI for onward connection to the multichannel PA. A TiMax Tracker performer tracking system with six TT Sensors deployed around the stage and in the auditorium received radar-frequency pulses from miniature TT Tags worn by the actors. This information was sent as a set of stage zone transition instructions to TiMax Soundhub which then morphed seamlessly between delay-matrix Image Definitions to create continuous localisation of vocals automatically as actors moved around stage.
Strebel commented, “Our company, audiopool, has worked for many years and on many productions using the TiMax2 SoundHub delay matrix and the TiMax Tracker system for the actors on stage, and we particularly wanted to use it on Elisabeth to improve vocal intelligibility and therefore clarity on this important production. When a show is so important to so many people it should be heard as it was originally intended. TiMax has helped us do that.”
Elisabeth The Musical tells the story of Elisabeth ("Sissi") the Empress of Austria from her engagement and marriage in 1854 to her murder in 1898 at the hands of the Italian anarchist. She is a figure who remains very much in the hearts of the people.