Joining Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, Changlong Hengqin International Circus City, and a spread of luxury hotels and park facilities, the new 6,700-seat Chimelong Theatre is the most recent addition to the Zhuhai Changlong Resort on Hengqin Island. Designed by entertainment architecture studio Stufish, and opened in July 2019, after two years of construction and preparation, the building’s circus tent theme dominates a large, two-level plaza.

The Chimelong Theatre’s circus tent theme informs its impressive rolling external façade. The production inside is as epic as the architecture. The Dragon Show brings together more than 300 performance artists from over 20 countries across Europe, Asia and Africa, combining technology with traditional circus performance on a 270° panoramic ring stage to tell the mythological stories of Zhuhai fishermen – a fully immersive re-interpretation of the feast of water, land, and air, with the action taking place both on stage and over the audience.

To complement this ambition, Rightway Audio Consultants worked with the theatre to design a powerful sound system with full, even coverage across the large audience area, and accurate control over every element of the performance. ‘Early in the process, the theatre’s production and sound design crew had a good idea of what they wanted to achieve,’ says Rightway’s WenZhen Zhan. ‘First, they wanted to enhance the audience experience by providing audio that tracks with the moving stage positions of the performers and also they wanted the ability to move sound objects across the comprehensive overheads and surround system. Second, they wanted exceptional clarity and intelligibility.’

K2On first inspection of the facility, Rightway also realised that the significant water-based elements of the show and the high humidity in the venue needed consideration – one of the reasons why L-Acoustics K2, with its IP45 rating, was chosen as the primary element.

The full system consists of 48 K2 in four hangs across the stage front, with 12 KS28 subwoofers flown centrally. Fifty-five X12 account for monitoring, and the entire system is powered by LAX12 amplified controllers. The system makes uses of the L-ISA multichannel audio processor, which provides spatial audio processing and object-based mixing facilities for the system. DiGiCo SD10 mixing consoles were chosen for FOH and monitors, the console’s native L-ISA Source Control allowing the system to be controlled directly from the console’s surface.

With assistance from L-Acoustics Alvin Koh, Rightway used L-Acoustics Soundvision software to design the system. ‘We had a lot of help from L-Acoustics,’ says Chimelong’s A/V team. ‘L-Acoustics was very hands-on, with detailed training and support at the theatre, which really impressed the theatre’s staff.’

‘It is the first time that we have used L-Acoustics products, but they provided excellent system training, which helps us to be even more professional,’ adds YuLong He, Sound Supervisor at the Chimelong Hengqin Theatre. ‘It is the dream of every sound engineer to own and use the world’s cutting-edge audio system and L-Acoustic is indeed the world’s top professional audio system manufacturer.

‘The Zhuhai Changlong Resort is a very special place,’ concludes He. ‘In its first nine months it attracted over eight million visitors and the Dragon Show at the new Chimelong Theatre will surely keep them coming back for more.’

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