Prosound’s Mark Malherbe completes Orpheus In Africa sound design
SOUTH AFRICA: The sound design for the second season of David Kramer’s musical Orpheus In Africa has been completed by Mark Malherbe, technical director of Prosound. The show, staged at Cape Town’s Fugard Theatre, is using Meyer Sound reinforcement and DPA microphones, with equipment supplied and installed by Eastern Acoustics.
Orpheus In Africa is the true story of Orpheus MacAdoo an African American Impresario who toured South Africa and the world in the late 1800s. Considering the historical context, Mr Malherbe sought to achieve a ‘natural sound’ for vocal performances and opted for to conceal the PA within the set. He also worked closely with set designer, Saul Radomsky, to ‘achieve a more intrinsic live choral experience for the audience’.
To deliver the desired performance, compact Meyer Sound enclosures were hidden within the set and in the 320-seat audience galleries, which posed an acoustic challenge with differing levels and seating depths. Meyer MM-4s were used as front-fills while the gallery sides were covered by UPJs. M1D subs were also located in the upper gallery while M1s were utilised at front-of-stage, one of which allowed the actors to monitor the live band. Finally, two CQ-1Ps managed the wider area of the audience, rigged from above centre of the auditorium. In terms of capture, each member of the 16-member cast was fitted with a DPA 4061 microphone, hidden in the hairline, while the the band used DPA 4099 and 4061 instrument microphones.
Prosound’s marketing manager, Dominique Vermeulen, was highly enthusiastic about the result. ‘An original home-grown musical is always a significant theatrical milestone, and this talented cast and flawless technical and staging production, left me completely immersed in this remarkable story,’ she said.
Orpheus In Africa continues its run at the Fugard Theatre until 10 January 2016.