Prosound Technical Director and South African Theatre stalwart, Mark Malherbe, has just completed the sound design for the second season of David Kramer’s new musical ‘Orpheus In Africa’.
Prosound’s Marketing Manager, Dominique Vermeulen, was at the Preview evening: “An original homegrown musical is always a significant theatrical milestone, and this uber-talented cast and flawless technical and staging production, left me completely immersed in this remarkable story.”
Mark and David’s association goes back many years, as too does Prosound’s partnership with Eastern Acoustics of Cape Town, who provided and installed the sound equipment. The Fugard Theatre is a special place for Prosound and it is noteworthy that this season begins in South Africa’s Heritage week, emphasising Prosound’s continuous commitment to South African art and culture through initiatives that bring their product offering and application skills into play.
This production, a true story of an American black evangelical choir that toured South Africa in the late 1800’s, called for a ‘natural sound’ for the vocal performance and a concealed PA. Maintaining this sense of authenticity in terms of the audio, involved Mark working closely with the set designer to achieve a more intrinsic live choral experience for the audience. The compact Meyer loudspeakers used for the show were hidden within the set and in the 280-seater audience galleries, which pose an acoustic challenge for any sound design in its various levels and seating depth.
Meyer MM-4s were used as front fills while the gallery sides were covered by Meyer UPJs, with the upper gallery having M1D subs. M1s were also utilised front stage, with one other bringing the band audio to the actors. Two CQ-1Ps managed the wider area of the audience rigged from above centre of the auditorium.
The 16-member cast were discreetly mic’d with DPA4061s hidden in the hairline and the band used with DPA4099s and 4061s instrument microphones. ‘Orpheus In Africa’ continues its run at The Fugard until early 2016