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Point Source Audio Helps Dreamlike Chinese Opera Come to Life at Lincoln Center

Point Source Audio Helps Dreamlike Chinese Opera Come to Life at Lincoln Center

USA – Point Source Audio (PSA) has announced that its SERIES8 lavaliers will be on centre stage of visual artist and Emmy winner Jennifer Wen Ma’s acclaimed Chinese opera, Paradise Interrupted, set to open at the Lincoln Center Festival, 13th July, 2016. In a dream, a woman meets her lover and searches for an unattainable ideal as a vast garden grows from an empty stage, only to disappear as her dream ends. This highly ambitious East meets West opera requires the central character – the talented and noted Chinese opera singer Qian Yi – to wear two Point Source Audio microphones to project her voice both vocally and visually.

Sound designer Lew Mead of Autograph A2D, together with Creative Technology director Guillermo Acevedo and his sound recognition software, created the visual magic using the opera singer’s breath to express her mood via light and movement to fill the stage. The distinctive characteristics of her every breath means no two performances are ever alike. Acevedo reports that it took about three years to customise the sound recognition software in order to teach a computer to recognise emotion.

Mead selected the SERIES8 omni lavalier for the singer’s voice going into the sound system, and the SERIES8 cardioid lavalier to isolate her voice going into the video computer. Describing the double miking method he used, Mead explained: “The Point Source omni lav has a beautiful natural tone and was perfect for Quan-Yi’s vocals, while the cardioid mic had to highly isolate her from other performers nearby and the orchestra.”

Directed and designed by Jennifer Wen Ma and composed by Huang Ruo, Paradise Interrupted first premiered for audiences at Spoleto Festival 2015, one of America’s major performing arts festivals. The annual festival lasts 17 days in Charleston, South Carolina, offering opera, musical theatre, dance and special events. Mead recounts that: “We first deployed the Point Source mics at the Spoleto premiere last year and they proved to be sonically precise, especially the directionality of the CR-8L cardioid lav.”

Ma, whose credits include the 2008 Beijing Olympics and an Emmy for the US broadcast of the ceremony, envisioned how she could immerse the audience with the heroine’s voice, breath, and energy all at once. Acevedo described his approach to the visual aspect as if “it were another character on stage in constant reaction with Qian Yi – just as a fellow actor would be.”

PSA’s vice president of sales and marketing, Yvonne Ho who has been exposed to the ancient art of Chinese opera commented: “It’s especially thrilling for me to have Point Source microphones be a part of this masterful juxtaposition of traditional Chinese opera and stunning new-age visual display.”

13th July 2016

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