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André Rieu Stages a Classical Spectacle for Australia with Dramatic Visual and Crystalline Audio from Meyer Sound
Dutch violinist and conductor André Rieu recently brought the world's largest transportable set to stadiums across Australia, staging an unparalleled classical spectacle for anticipating audiences. The stunning production included a 125-meter-wide stage with a 600-square-meter ice skating rink, a gold coach pulled by six white horses, and a full-size reproduction of Vienna's famed Schönbrunn Castle, replete with golden ballroom and gilded chandeliers. Montreal-based Solotech met Rieu's demand for sonic excellence with a state-of-the-art Meyer Sound system based around the MILO line array loudspeaker and the SB-1 parabolic long-throw sound beam for reaching the farthest seats in the vast space.
Not a typical classical music elitist, André Rieu is renowned for staging concerts with lighthearted levity, and performers forging a connectedness and warmth with the audience rarely seen in orchestral performance. As Rieu's longtime sound designer David Brazeau observes, the MILO system is able to convey the full impact of the production's power and emotion to every seat in the house.
"The MILO is really ideal for André's music," says Brazeau. "It's very powerful, with wonderful articulation and detail, and it's easy to manipulate. I've worked with other line arrays, but the MILO is the one I prefer. It sounds sweet without being overly aggressive, and really brings out the richness of the strings."
The system for the Australian shows was based around two arrays of 24 Meyer Sound MILO line array loudspeakers, with low end covered by a dozen 700-HP subwoofers. The rig was flown behind a scrim in the "castle," and augmented by two side arrays of 16 MICA line array loudspeakers each, with eight additional 700-HP subwoofers. Twenty more MICA boxes provided frontfill. The system also included four delay clusters of MSL-4 and MSL-6 loudspeakers, while 16 SB-1 parabolic long-throw sound beams added power and punch to the farthest reaches of the stadiums.
An assortment of Meyer Sound monitors provided foldback for the performers, including the UPJ VariO, CQ, UPA, and UPM loudspeakers. FOH engineer Wim Van der Molen mixed the shows on a Yamaha PM1D console, and covered monitor mixes from FOH.
"André is a performer who really knows what he and his audiences want to hear, and he has an excellent understanding of technology," says Brazeau. "It would be difficult, if not impossible, to deliver the level of quality his shows demand with anything but Meyer Sound speakers."