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Fred Vogler at the Allen & Heath Avantis during an LA Opera "Oedipus Rex" production rehearsal. (Photo Credit: Larry Ho)

LA Opera Primed For Return To In-Person Performances With Allen & Heath

Both live and video productions of Stravinsky’s “Oedipus Rex” utilizing PRIME preamp modules and DX32 modular expander paired with a 96 kHz Avantis console.

Marking the company’s first indoor performance in over a year, the Los Angeles Opera will present the company premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex this coming Sunday, June 6 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, followed by a subsequent stream of the concert about 10 days later on the opera’s digital platform, with an Allen & Heath Avantis mix system accompanied by a DX32 modular expander outfitted with PRIME preamp modules playing a key role in both.

“The Avantis is a perfect console for the performing arts,” says Grammy Award-winning engineer Fred Vogler. “It is easy to use, extremely flexible with routing, a nice size and sounds great. The demands of opera and ‘live’ production require technology that works well with all of the ‘oh, by the way’ requests. Things are much easier, especially with productions as complex as LA Opera’s Oedipus Rex, with smart technology like Avantis from A&H.”

Photo Credit: Larry Ho

“This type of highly exposed orchestral setting is exactly what PRIME was designed to tackle,” adds Allen & Heath USA Marketing Director Jeff Hawley. “Most preamps are based on AC coupled stages, while PRIME offers a DC coupled gain stage which eliminates LF distortion you’d get in AC coupling. This greatly improves low frequency linearity and phase response. In a great hall with world class performers, these sonic benefits become even more apparent.” Compatible with SQ, Avantis and dLive (via the DX32 modular expander), each individual PRIME channel is fine-tuned by hand for optimum common mode performance. In this case, the PRIME preamps feed into a 64 channel / 42 configurable bus Avantis, powered via its 96 kHz XCVI FPGA core.

Created during Stravinsky’s “neoclassical period,” Oedipus Rex is a stylized, ritualistic work the composer described as an “opera-oratorio,” to be staged with minimal movement. In a unique staging twist, a narrator describes the action throughout the course of the opera, with actor, comedian, and author Stephen Fry confirmed to provide the narration for both the in-person and cinematic version of the production.

The staging will also feature projected animations created by Manual Cinema, an Emmy Award-winning performance collective, design studio and film/video production company. The opera will be conducted by Music Director James Conlon and star LA Opera’s Artist in Residence Russell Thomas as Oedipus, his fourth leading role with the company.

James Conlon conducts the LA Opera Orchestra in a rehearsal for Oedipus Rex. (Photo Credit: Larry Ho)

“The energy and excitement at rehearsals is palpable,” concludes Christopher Koelsch, LA Opera President and Chief Executive Officer. “Everyone at the company—from the performers who have been largely silenced by this pandemic to the backstage staff—is elated at the prospect of performing before a live audience inside the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion once again, especially given their extraordinary support during the shutdown.”

Go here for more information about the performance and entry requirements.

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