Report by Jane Williams, 7 June 2015

Present: Bill Bankes-Jones, Sarah Booth, Lori Lixenberg, Astrid Steffensen

JW: I asked the question because I really want to hear this music performed so it can sound at its best. I may not want to hear opera in a site-specific setting, or from 2 feet away.

LL: Singers have the experience of rehearsing spaces (often theatres with a dry acoustic) and then having to perform in a space with a very different acoustic.

BBJ: even specially designed spaces don't have ideal acoustic

LL: Different acoustics interplay with different types of music, eg Sciarrino is written so that all the overtones can be heard. If wrongly placed, that’s as upsetting as being out of tune

BBJ: It's about the space you're in not how close. Directors may need to do a few shows in a theatre before they know how to work with the space. Different performers have different attention to what they're doing. Even if audience not aware of acoustic, it has an effect.

LL: Hearing an opera in upper amphitheatre versus stalls, it's a different show, in all aspects. In the ROH, at the top of the house the music blends, more like hearing a CD

AS: Urban opera, trying to use environment, inspired by medieval or cathedral spatial settings.

Music and architecture completely intertwined

Concert halls, we want too much from them so they end up not perfect for any kind of music, they become too sterile. Not many modern concert halls have their own identity.


Audience, space, performers, architecture, singers, audience, acoustic, concert halls, spatial, Architecture, environment, SPACE