DPA microphones reinforce Nepal’s first operatic performance
NEPAL: Lucy Peckham, who describes herself as a theatre sound designer/composer, live-acoustic music engineer, field recordist and sound-effects creator, was approached by Professor Greg Mitchell of UC Santa Barbara to work on the first opera ever performed in Nepal. The opera, Arjuna’s Dilemma, was to be performed outside towards the end of the rainy season at Patan Durbar Square and so Ms Peckham required equipment capable of withstanding Kathmandu’s often-harsh conditions. Her search would result in the use of DPA Microphone’s d:screet microphones.
‘I started receiving Live Design’s newsletter and DPA kept popping up,’ recalled Ms Peckham. ‘One article in particular caught my attention: DPA microphones were used to mic the entire cast and orchestra of a San Francisco Opera performance for the purpose of recording it. The idea of using wireless to capture a live performance astonished me.’
Ms Peckham would explore DPA further, attending the manufacturer’s presentation at the USITT conference. ‘At the conference, I decided I wanted to use three d:screet 4061 necklace microphones for the singers and a d:screet IMK-SC4061 instrument microphone kit with a d:screet 4061 omnidirectional microphone for the saxophone,’ she said. ‘I used d:screet 4061s for this project because of the quality of the sound they reproduce. Though the whole opera was amplified and mixed, it had to sound as if it wasn’t. It had to sound naturally acoustic, as opera should, and thanks to DPA, it did. The accuracy and transparency of sound reproduction without distortion, and the significant feedback rejections, are absolutely amazing.’
The opera, originally composed by Douglas J Cuomo, is based on a story from the Bhagavad Gita. The performances required miking, amplifying and mixing due to their small orchestra of nine musicians and the variety of the company’s vocal strengths in addition to the outdoor venue. The DPA mics were provided for opera singers Roy Stevens and Annalisa Winberg, Hindu Temple singer Gurudev Kamat and the jazz saxophonist, Inap Shrestha.