“Opera at the Ballpark” returned to San Francisco at AT&T Park last month with a free simulcast of Tosca, setting a new ballpark attendance record for the San Francisco Opera with an estimated 27,000 viewers.
For its fourth simulcast, Bay Area rental house Pro Media/UltraSound turned to Meyer Sound loudspeakers, subwoofers and processing to meet the unique task of presenting a live performance from the stage of the War Memorial Opera House to a crowded sports stadium.
David Bowers of Pro Media/UltraSound stated that the decision to go with Meyer Sound was a relatively simple one: “It’s just the way it is. There’s nothing that works better for opera. It’s absolutely, purely linear. It predicts well, and there’s very low distortion.”
The sound reinforcement system included 28 MILO line array loudspeakers (two arrays of 14 each), along with eight legacy MSL-2A loudspeakers, eight M3D-Sub directional subwoofers, a Galileo loudspeaker management system, and a SIM 3 audio analyzer for system tuning.
“We showed up at 1 (on show day) to load in,” said Bowers on the day of the show. “By 7 pm that night, we were doing our first pass for optimization. It was so expeditious. That’s a credit to self-powered systems—they’re very easy to rig.”
Bowers, who has a wealth of experience when it comes to mixing opera and classical music, recognizes the benefits of choosing Meyer Sound for this project. “We love the M3D subwoofer for the opera,” said Bowers. “It’s the most musical-sounding sub for opera and classical music. We want the sound system to be invisible, even if the stage is 400 feet away from the audience. M3D-Sub, MILO, and Meyer allow us to do that.”
“I am overwhelmed and gratified by the Bay Area’s enthusiastic response to our third simulcast of live opera to AT&T Park,” commented Opera General Director David Gockley. “Our presentation of Tosca onto the scoreboard in high def transmission was fantastic and was matched by the superior sound quality under the careful guidance of Meyer Sound , ProMedia Ultra Sound and the SF Opera Sound Dept. From the outfield and the infield to stadium seating, more than 27,000 guests enjoyed this growing San Francisco tradition of Opera at the Ballpark. It truly was a grand night for singing.”