Hunchback of Notre Dame: The Musical

A Danish language version of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame: The Musical has scored an unprecedented 27 six-star reviews for sell-out performances in Copenhagen. Produced by the Fredericia Theatre, the show is running at the Royal Danish Theatre’s Old Stage using a Meyer Sound reinforcement system with Leopard line array loudspeakers.

Heading the production’s creative team was Frederica Theatre Creative Producer Søren Møller, with Sound Designer Tim Høyer delivering both the power and the intimacy of the music. Both credit the Leopard system as a critical tool in forging an emotional connection between performers and the audience.

‘I work with a lot of different loudspeaker brands, but when Anders Jorgensen of Stouenborg demoed the Leopard system I was blown away,’ says Høyer. ‘The first thing I noticed is that the sound was natural and direct, with a precise midrange. It was easy to create the sounds just as I wanted to hear them. There were no open questions once the design was done. I was very happy.’

Hunchback of Notre Dame: The MusicalFor Møller, a former sound designer himself, sonic transparency was critical to realising the emotional effect of the production in the 1,600-seat venue. ‘I’m very much into sound design, but what I really want is to lose myself into the story,’ he insists. ‘It’s all about stimulating the senses. That’s what makes it magical.’

Provided by Stouenborg ApS, the reinforcement system for the Old Stage was anchored by the two main arrays of 13 per side Leopard compact line array loudspeakers with deep bass extension from six 900-LFC low frequency control elements flown over the stage and four 1100-LFC elements ground-stacked two per side. The production audio console, a DiGiCo SD7, accepted 130 channels from the performers’ microphones, the 14 musicians behind the upstage LED screen, and prerecorded effects. Freelance audio engineer Theis Romme consulted on loudspeaker configuration and also optimised the entire system using Meyer Sound’s SIM3 audio analyser.

The Copenhagen production followed a prior staging of the same musical at Fredericia Theatre’s home venue, located in a small city of the same name 100 miles west of Copenhagen. The needs of that original production prompted the theatre to replace its aging permanent system with a complete new Meyer Sound system, also anchored by Leopard line array loudspeakers scaled to the needs of the smaller venue. Again supplied by Stouenborg, the system’s main arrays are five per side Leopard, with six 900-LFC elements flown over the stage and one 1100-LFC element per side on the ground. Fill and delay systems comprise two UPQ-1P, three UPM-1XP, eight UPJ-1XP and three UPJunior-XP.

Surround loudspeakers comprise ten-each of the HMS-10 and HMS-5 wallmount models, primarily designed as cinema surrounds but also very effective for theatrical ambient effects in the relatively small and acoustically well-controlled room. These surrounds as well as fills and delays designated ‘XP’ use Meyer Sound’s proprietary IntelligentDC technology, with the active loudspeakers coupled to remote DC power supplies to leverage the performance advantages of self-powered systems but with substantially lower installation costs.

‘It is a story that is tiny and intimate, but it is also an epic story,’ Møller says of the show. ‘I think one reason for the success of this show is that you are overwhelmed. You are overwhelmed emotionally by the scale of it, and by the sound of it. People leave having experienced far more than they expected.’

One of the leading regional theatre companies in northern Europe, Fredericia Theatre is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Broadway League and the Musical Theatre Network.

More: www.meyersound.com

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