Amaluna, Cirque du Soleil’s latest conceptual presentation is playing to packed houses at the Royal Albert Hall. The drama’s underlying narrative unfolds through Cirque’s seductive style, yet that most potent form of mime is melded to an unusually muscular score.
“Amaluna’s music is unique within Cirque du Soleil shows,” confirms Matthew Steuart, Cirque’s head of sound for the show. “It’s a powerful rock driven score, featuring a traditional bass, drums and guitars band alongside some electronic elements that when combined, create Amaluna’s signature powerful musical experience.” That call for a rockier edge saw Steuart ask Britannia Row Productions to readdress the sound design.
“We were extremely happy with the L-Acoustics Kara PA Britrow deployed last year,” continues Steuart. “Prior to last year’s visit in the hall we had done several simulations in Soundvision to check coverage and it really translated well into the gig. It was exactly what we wanted in terms of coverage, power and clarity and delivered on all accounts. It was a simple choice to use Kara again this year. Amaluna has a circular acrobatic grid so we were able to essentially wrap the PA around the grid, six hangs of Kara with the addition of the latest KS28 subs for the desired low end weight.”
While the circular nature of the loudspeaker deployment lends itself to the Albert Hall’s audience space, putting low end energy into the air must be carefully managed.
“Achieving uniform low end coverage for our 270° seating area in the big top is already a challenge, and the Royal Albert Hall provides an extra challenge with its large vertical seating area. We’ve chosen to fly a sub array just up from centre that consists of four KS28s and two K1-SBs.
“Centrally locating the sub array allowed us to steer the low end down vertically but still capitalise on the subs omnidirectional tendencies to horizontally spread the low end across the entire seating area. I can walk up and down and around the whole venue and the coverage is great, the transitions are seamless and response very consistent.
“Britrow has been amazing from our first pre-production meetings all the way through the load-in and finally with our first shows. Their support is excellent; they even managed to rig and fly the entire PA in less time than normal due to a tighter Load-in schedule.”