The Stavanger (Norway) Symphony Orchestra has spent the past 14 years wishing for a new home that it could truly call its own, and in September, that wish finally became a reality with the opening of the new Stavanger Concert Hall.
The world-class venue, designed by Oslo architects Ratio Arkitekter to host all types of cultural events, includes two halls that both have DiGiCo consoles for mixing the amplified sound.
Each of the two halls—one for orchestral music, the other multi-purpose—has its own independent soundproofing and load bearing systems. The soundproofing is so efficient that a rock concert can take place in one at the same time as a classical event in the other, with no disturbance to the classical audience or musicians.
The halls share a foyer and restaurant, complemented by 180 other rooms, including rehearsal spaces, dressing rooms, meeting venues, cafes, bars, community facilities and an outdoor amphitheatre.
The Fartein Valen (symphony hall) has 1,500 seats and the ceiling can be lowered up to six meters to alter the acoustics. The acoustics can also be changed using 13 adjustable acoustic reflectors.
Capacity of the Zetlitz (multipurpose hall) varies between 700 seats for opera, 800 for musicals, 1,400 for conferences and 1,900 (with a flat floor) for rock concerts.
The systems include two DiGiCo SD7s, two SD8-24s, an SD10 and six SD Racks (both fixed and portable). Both halls have a normal setup of 112 input lines and 64 output lines, but these can easily be expanded when needed. A fiber optic network has connection points spread throughout the venues, making for a flexible setup and easy accommodation of different events.
The consoles were supplied by DiGiCo Norwegian distributor Bright A/S, which also provided design support on the project. The venue’s head of sound, Johan Berntsen, is an experienced touring engineer and spent several months working with Bright A/S to train the venue’s engineers and set up the system, ready for the 10-day grand opening celebration.
“For many of the in-house engineers this has been their first experience with DiGiCo consoles and their feedback is very positive,” says Truls Birkeland of Bright A/S. “The stability and flexibility of the system has been highly praised and the engineers loves the functionality of the consoles.”
This is confirmed by Berntsen, who says “The ability to share resources on the optical loop is fantastic. Sum mixes are sent on the virtual tie-line system, being picked up where needed. The time needed for doing a sound check of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra has been halved. It’s absolutely brilliant.”
Support is also a key issue for Johan. “To have 24/7 support from both DiGiCo and Bright A/S has been crucial for us,” he says. “As well as overseeing the installation and helping to train the engineers, staff from Bright A/S also spent the entire ten days of the opening celebrations overseeing the audio production. This was very reassuring for everybody involved.