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Mal,

I don't know the specifics, though I believe that there was some attempt to
build it in such a way as to send the stage sounds upward rather than out
to the audience. The large size of the hall has been mentioned in some
articles, but this seems odd to me since the Met Opera, diagonally next
door, is plenty big, too, but there is no problem hearing the singers
anywhere in that house.

A little searching turns up a number of articles about the problem, but no
real details on its causes. There is an interesting looking study by
the AES<http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=1218> that
looks like it is only open to members, but I assume that many on this list
fit that category.

There probably are others on this list (Dennis?) more qualified to comment
on this, but I can personally verify that the hall was never a good venue
for opera, though this is now mostly a moot point, I guess.

Peter H.


On Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 12:37 PM, Malcolm Rockwell <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> I'm curious as to how designing in that acoustically dead area was
> accomplished.
> Malcolm
>
> *******
>
> On 3/13/2014 5:57 AM, Peter Hirsch wrote:
>
>> Interesting that it states that "dance was the primary program that [new
>> Northrop] is designed around". I hope that doesn't mean that it will have
>> the acoustics of the Lincoln Center auditorium formerly known as the New
>> York State Theater (re-christened for a pair of super-rich, politically
>> meddlesome brothers that I'd prefer not credit by name). With the NY City
>> Ballet as its original tenant, it was created with a dead area onstage so
>> that there would be nothing audible radiating to the audience from the
>> dancing. Of course, when the late, lamented, City Opera moved from their
>> original home at City Center the singers found themselves trapped in this
>> same sonic void. Various tweaks, including some sort of amplification,
>> were
>> tried over the years. None particularly successfully.
>>
>> Hope this hasn't veered too far off-ARSC-topic.
>>
>> Peter Hirsch
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 8:09 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>
>>  http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/music/232941131.html
>>>
>>> Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis was a non-ideal recording venue in the
>>> 1950s. Fortunately, Dorati and the Minneapolis Symphony made music good
>>> enough to out-shine the inferior hall acoustics. Unfortunately, nearby
>>> Edison High School and its good-sounding auditorium weren't discovered
>>> until very late in the Mercury-MSO contract.
>>>
>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>
>>