At the end of August, the city of Astrakhan in southern Russia, hosted an impressive classical music event which gathered an audience of more than 5,000 people. Set inside the old walls of the Astrakhan Kremlin, a stronghold fortress that began construction in the 16th century, the Astrakhan State Theatre of Opera and Ballet performed an open-air presentation of the opera, Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin.
On the night of the performance, the central square of the Kremlin was transformed into the seating area while the beautiful Cathedral of the Assumption and adjacent buildings served as the stage backdrop. A temporary 40 x 20m platform was assembled for the orchestra at centre stage.
All sound equipment used for the performance, including Allen & Heath dLive mixing consoles, a main K-array PA system, Audio-Technica microphones and wireless systems and QSC stage monitors, were provided by Russia distributor MixArt.
“We worked previously with The Astrakhan Opera Theatre on a few other projects including the Delta Jazz Festival, the premier of Giuseppe Verdi’s Traviata and The Damnation of Faust at The Moscow Bolshoi Theatre, and they were extremely happy with the results which is why they invited us to work with them again on this project. We were able to rely on a similar setup of equipment to meet the challenging conditions of an open-air opera performance,” says Vadim Scherbakov, the head of MixArt office for the south region and the chief sound engineer of the project at the Astrakhan Kremlin.
The main PA system consisted of two line arrays of six Dragon-KX12 coaxial point sources paired with four Thunder-KMT218 18” subwoofers. Two Pinnacle-KR802 portable systems were used as delay speakers and two Pinnacle-KR102 systems were used as front-fills to ensure even coverage of the entire seating area.
“The sound quality surpassed all our expectations,” says Scherbakov. “K-array provided crystal clear and natural sound while being compact and almost invisible! One of our major concerns was to make sure that the audience will hear true voices vocalists, choir and orchestra instruments as if they were in the theatre with no sound reinforcement and the K-array systems did more than help us meet that aim!”