Acoustical Glitches Corrected at New Denver Opera House

Classic Arts News   Acoustical Glitches Corrected at New Denver Opera House
Adjustments are being made to the new Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver to perfect its acoustics, the Denver Post reports.

The Caulkins Opera House, which is constructed inside the shell of the Newton Auditorium at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, opened with much fanfare on September 10, 2005. But some observers grumbled that the acoustics were not as good as expected.

Acoustics exert Robert Mahoney told the Post he was pleased with the sound in the theater. The singers' words project clearly and the sound is balanced between orchestra and singers, he said, which, "is a tough thing to do in a hall of this size, as you can well imagine." (The Ellie, as it is called, has 2,400 seats.)

However, Mahoney hopes to improve the visceral impact of powerful sections of the music. 'We have a very good pianissimo that we can achieve in here. The next thing is to get a really pin-you-back-in-your-seat fortissimo," he told the Post.

Workers are altering the curved walls at the back of the theater and exchanging an absorptive panel for a layer of gypsum board. This would allow the sound to be sustained longer.

Work is underway and should be finished by the February 16 opening of Opera Colorado's Norma.

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