Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy

Kahle Acoustics was asked to elaborate and implement acoustical solutions in order to improve the working conditions of the orchestra, both in the opera pit and on the concert hall's stage, as well as in their rehearsal room. Landmarked buildings.

Information Sheet

Tuning/Intervention Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy   www.opera-national-lorraine.fr

Location Nancy, France. Landmarked buildings.

Time Frame 2010-2011.

Client Opéra national de Lorraine.

Venues Opéra national de Lorraine (1000-seat opera house); Salle Poirel (880-seat concert hall) and Salle Driant (rehearsal room, 1 200 m³ acoustic volume).

Acoustics consulting purpose Kahle Acoustics was asked to improve the working conditions of the orchestra both in the opera and concert halls. The aim was to reduce excessive high sound level experienced by the musicians while respecting the architecture.

Services Acoustic consulting on all three venues with the aim of reducing loudness levels while improving general acoustic quality for both musicians and audience members. Each step of the process required listening to rehearsals and performances, discussing both with the staff and the orchestra before, during and after each event, before deciding on final improvement measures to be implemented.

For the Opera national de Lorraine: In order to reduce sound levels in the orchestra pit, modular absorption panels on magnetic railing were installed under the ceiling and on the back wall of the pit, in order to place them as close as possible to the loudest instruments.

For the Salle Poirel: In order to reduce loudness and reverberation on stage and to improve projection and richness of sound for the audience, acoustic absorption was added onto the orchestra shell configuration.

For the Salle Driant: A moderate increase in the acoustic volume was obtained by partially removing the acoustic false ceiling panels. Absorption panels were added closer to the loud instruments, allowing a moderate reduction in loudness while maintaining the reverberation time of the rehearsal room.

Consultants Yann Jurkiewicz, Johan Brulez, Thomas Wulfrank, Eckhard Kahle, Kahle Acoustics.

1/9Opéra national de Lorraine
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An early 20th-century opera house inspired by the horse-shoe shape of Italian opera houses. Acoustic measurements of pit and audience chamber. Photo © Kahle Acoustics
2/9Opéra national de Lorraine
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The orchestra pit — especially the opening — is rather small, engendering high noise levels for the musicians. Photo © Kahle Acoustics
3/9Opéra national de Lorraine
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In order to reduce sound levels without impacting the exceptionally good acoustic quality of the opera, modular absorption panels are placed under the ceiling on magnetic rails, in order to place them close to the loudest instruments. Photo © Kahle Acoustics
4/9Opéra national de Lorraine
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Modular absorption panels can equally be placed on the back wall, easily removable so that appropriate reverberation can be maintained. Photo © Kahle Acoustics
5/9Salle Poirel
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Acoustic measurements with orchestra shell in place: one notes high sound level and excessive reverberation on stage leading to difficult hearing conditions for the musicians, and an ;unclear and frontal sound for the audience. Photo © Kahle Acoustics
6/9Salle Poirel
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Acoustic measurements with folded orchestra shell creating an absorbing back wall and no ceiling (configuration used by the orchestra prior to intervention): one notes a lack of reflections between the musicians and a loss of sound color for the audience. Photo © Kahle Acoustics
7/9Salle Poirel
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Absorbing configuration augmented with acoustic reflectors: acoustic ray-trace showing the positive impact of one reflector for one sound source on stage. Photo © Kahle Acoustics
8/9Salle Poirel
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Reflective orchestra shell with added absorption on the back wall: acoustic curtains and absorbing panels. Photo © Kahle Acoustics
9/9Salle Poirel
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Final configuration chosen after different tests, providing the best results on stage as well as for the audience. Photo © Kahle Acoustics