Florida’s Asolo Repertory Theatre Opens its New Season with Evita and Lectrosonics

“The Lectrosonics SSMs are an ideal size for putting in wigs. If we have a principal that needs to be double-miked then we’re not taking up that much real estate on the actor’s body with them.”
Publish date:

Sarasota, FL (February 2018) —The Asolo Repertory Theatre, the largest Equity theatre in Florida and the largest repertory theatre in the southeastern United States, increased its inventory of Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless equipment in time for the opening of its new season in mid-November 2017. The company, which primarily performs at the historic Harold E. and Esther M. Mertz Theatre in the Florida State University (FSU) Center for the Performing Arts in Sarasota, expanded its complement of Lectrosonics SSM micro beltpack transmitters and Venue2 receivers to 24 channels.

Asolo Rep’s Equity company, which attracts 100,000 patrons annually, performs a rotating repertory of plays, from classics to contemporary, from November to June. The company’s 2017-2018 season opened in spectacular fashion with an epic production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s award-winning musical Evita, directed and choreographed by Josh Rhodes. The pop-rock musical features a cast of 29 actors plus 13 musicians. It stars Puerto Rican singer, actress and dancer Ana Isabelle as Argentina’s First Lady, Eva Perón, who rose from poverty to become known as the “spiritual leader of the nation” before her untimely passing in 1952.

Matthew Parker, resident sound designer at Asolo Repertory Theatre since 1993, reports that the company’s Lectrosonics inventory has been bolstered in anticipation of the imminent loss of access to the 600 MHz band spectrum. Lectrosonics’ A1 block covers 470.100 to 537.575 MHz while the B1 block spans 537.600 to 614.375 MHz, just below the telecom companies’ new 600 MHz band services.

“We’ve got 12 channels of Lectrosonics in the A1 block and 12 in the B1 block,” says Parker. “We just added 18 SSMs and we added six last year, so we now have a total of 24 channels.” Pascal Danon, director of the pro audio division’s operations at Focused Technology in Sarasota, supplied the Lectrosonics equipment.

“We use Countryman B6 microphone elements with a flat protective cap which are fully padded to optimize the gain structure through the Lectrosonics system,” Parker adds. He reports that the combination is working well on the rock-opera production of Evita, which features non-stop singing with no dialogue and utilizes a total of 28 channels of RF mics.

“The SSMs are an ideal size for putting in wigs,” Parker continues. “If we have a principal that needs to be double-miked then we’re not taking up that much real estate on the actor’s body with them.”

The wireless environment at the theatre is challenging, with the closest TV transmitter just 10 miles from the theatre, but the Lectrosonics equipment is reportedly equal to the task. “We’ve got wireless mics in the lobby for panel discussions and other events, so that’s another thing in the mix. So we’ve been dealing with the congestion, plus I’ve got a big I-beam underneath the stage. We just changed the IQ tracking filters on the Venue receivers to ‘narrow’ from ‘normal’ and that totally cleaned up the noise,” reports Parker, who has developed a new frequency coordination plan for the coming year.

In addition to Evita and Shakespeare In Love, which is based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard and adapted for the stage by Lee Hall, this season’s repertory includes The Morning After Grace, by Carey Crim; Rhinoceros, by Eugene Ionesco; Roe, by Lisa Loomer; and Ragtime, with book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahren.

The Asolo Rep traces its origin back to 1960 at FSU when the company first performed in an 18th century theatre acquired by the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art for its collection and transported from Asolo, Italy. In 1989, the company outgrew the theatre and moved to the 500-seat former Dunfermline Opera House, originally built in 1903 in Scotland and relocated to the FSU Center for the Performing Arts and renamed the Mertz Theatre in honor of its benefactors, Harold E. and Esther M. Mertz.

About Lectrosonics

Well respected within the film, broadcast, and theatre technical communities since 1971, Lectrosonics wireless microphone systems and audio processing products are used daily in mission-critical applications by audio engineers familiar with the company's dedication to quality, customer service, and innovation. Lectrosonics is a US manufacturer based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Visit the company online at www.lectrosonics.com


More than 55 of the 2018 Fall Television and Streaming Series Rely on Blackmagic Design

More than 55 of the 2018 Fall Television and Streaming Series Rely on Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design today announced that the company’s production and post products were used to complete many of the fall 2018 season’s new and returning television shows and streaming series. More than 55 shows rely on Blackmagic Design’s digital film cameras; Fusion visual effects (VFX), compositing, 3D and motion graphics software; and DaVinci Resolve editing, color correction, VFX and digital audio software; as well as its switchers, routers, monitors and capture and playback devices.


Jingle All the Way: Luxul's XMS-1208P Managed Gigabit Switch is Available for All CI Integrators this Holiday Season

Luxul, the leading innovator of IP networking solutions for AV integrators, today announced that it's giving CI integrators the gift of enterprise-level performance at affordable price points this holiday season. It doesn't matter if they've been naughty or nice, the company's XMS-1208P 12-port/18 PoE+ managed Gigabit switch — that delivers high-speed performance while enabling simple network expansion — is now available for all. And to ring in the new year, Luxul will begin shipping its AMS-1816P 18-port/16 PoE+ L2/L3 managed Gigabit switch in early January.


HoverCam Transforms Classrooms Fit for Future-Ready Students at Val Verde USD

HoverCam, an innovative technology leader in the digital education market, announced that Val Verde Unified School District (USD) in Parris, California, successfully installed HoverCam's Pilot digital teaching stations and CenterStage interactive flat panels (IFPs) in new STEM labs in the elementary schools, with plans for an eventual rollout to the district's middle and high schools. As part of the district's goal to create future-ready students, Val Verde USD chose HoverCam digital education solutions to address the rising challenge of updating classrooms and introducing curriculum with advanced systems that will prepare students for a rapidly changing career landscape.


The Sigma Holiday Sale Is Back!

Nothing makes gift giving as enjoyable as special prices on award-winning Sigma lenses and accessories; get the lens you’ve always craved or surprise a fellow shooter with the perfect present.


Global News Agency Ruptly Relies on Riedel's MediorNet and Artist on Board New OB and DSNG Vehicles

Riedel's MediorNet real-time media network and Artist digital matrix intercom are providing the decentralized and redundant signal routing and communications backbone on board two all-new, state-of-the-art OB vehicles for Ruptly, a Berlin-based international news agency. Qvest Media, a world-leading system architect and integrator for the broadcast and media industries, designed and built the new broadcast van and DSNG vehicle.