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Author Topic: Does anyone here do opera gigs?  (Read 2466 times)


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Does anyone here do opera gigs?
« on: January 16, 2008, 03:08:21 pm »

Howdy folks,

The Dallas Opera is opening a new facility soon, and I would like to seek employment there as a sound technician.  The venue will also house theatrical and symphonic events.

I'm pretty serious about this, so much so that I have taken a low-pay part as a super in Salome just to meet people.  Everyone is super nice, professional, and the level of talent is utterly amazing.

I am open to any and all advice from people who have worked in this field.

This might sound silly, but if I'm tipping anyone off please be cool and PM me any info you find on potential employment.


Tim McCulloch

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Re: Does anyone here do opera gigs?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2008, 07:09:47 pm »


I work with our opera company as the IATSE 'sound guy' at the civic center.  Curtain speech mic for the producer, lots of intercom, perpetual dressing room/green room feed issues from people that don't know what the knob on the wall is for...

Oh, and hanging mics and running cable for the recording folks.

It's a very traditional company.  No "sound designer."

There are certainly some impressive singers out there...

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
"Will you stand by me against the cold night, or are you afraid of the ice?" Crack The Sky

Paul E Fenelon

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Re: Does anyone here do opera gigs?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2008, 06:51:16 am »

I used to work at the Sydney Opera House as a "Casual Sound Board Operator" a long time ago. Opera really does not like sound reinforcement much and so subtlty is the key. Certainly no
stage monitors. We had electronicly movable mics in the air on cables and you could lower them up or down and move them around as required. You may have one over the lead solo violinist etc.
If you are using mics. No reverb or FX are welcome.

FYI- The Opera House Architect was a Danishman J
ADR Audio - KV2

East Coast Touring Services
Australia, since 1992


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Re: Does anyone here do opera gigs?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2008, 07:37:18 am »


If you are using mics. No reverb or FX are welcome.

Hmmm...I distinctly remember the stage director telling us that Jokanaan, who is supposed to be down in a dungeon, would be miced with reverb.  I'm not trying to prove you wrong, it just seems like this company is a bit more non-traditional.  Everyone seems very open-minded, which is why I want to work with them.

Thanks for the replies,

(spelling edit)

John Ward

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Re: Does anyone here do opera gigs?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2008, 08:01:03 am »

I've worked with the Austin Lyric Opera several times - it's always been both fun and profitable. As stated - don't expect a lot of sound reinforcement. Lavs for the principals, some zone / boundary micing, no effects, and most of all no hint of amplification as applied to any other gig. Just true reinforcement.
Expect to go by union rules (and you may have to join one of them). Expect to work with some pretty picky folks who know exactly what they want. Every performer I've encountered has been pleasant and sometimes a lot of fun. Expect change as well.

Been my experience anyhow.
"Suck It Up and Step Out. It's not the things you wish for or whine about that comes about. It's the things you passionately want in life that makes all the difference." Dr.Scott Knight

Mikey Brown

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Re: Does anyone here do opera gigs?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2008, 12:09:45 am »

Well you caught me on this one. I am doing an Opera now.
Same as the other guys, I am the house guy providing and designing/mixing the show. I am fortunate that this venue was designed for Opera.
The room is acoustically tunable to compensate for change in rt60
from rehearsal to full house. We do not typically reinforce FOH.
The exception is a production as this one. I am slightly reinforcing some diction passages.

As far a backstage, well thats another story. On this prod. I have 8 mixes backstage.
1. DS Pit foldback
2. MS Flown Pit foldback/ SFX
3. US Flown Pit foldback/ SFX
4. DS A.V. Carts
5. US A.V. Carts
6. Traveler monitor
7. Pit mons. Vox foldback for woodwinds (why?)
8. Trap room mix for trap operators

Heres the mics.

Pit wall 4 x 460
Pit ceiling 4 x SM 91
celeste 1 x 460
FOH diction 2x sennheiser shotguns L&R
FOH diction/ vox PGM  1 x stereo AT mic
1 x Lav

Add to this the typical creation zone, and about 25 wired coms and 8 RF coms. Lest we forget 10 video mons. for carts and other stations.

The Maestro drives the boat. So he's the priority.
So thats the typical rundown here.

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