Studer has created a unique version of its Vista 8 digital mixing console for the new Copenhagen Opera House. The custom-built Vista provides two moveable front-of-house control surfaces connected to each other and to the control room by fiber optic cable, which can be freely positioned anywhere in the theatre–from the control room to the auditorium.

A project worth $450 million, the Opera House is set to be one of the most technically advanced theatres in the world. Located just across the water from the royal palace of Amalienborg, the 135,000 sq. ft. building has been designed by world-renowned Danish architect Henning Larsen, with acoustic design by Arup Acoustics. Entirely funded by charitable foundations, the Opera House has been gifted to the nation to be the new home of Det Kongelige Teater (the Royal Theatre).

The main horseshoe-shaped auditorium seats approximately 1,500 people. The performance space has been cleverly planned to allow for considerable acoustic flexibility–the orchestra pit providing for differing sizes of orchestra, which, in turn, allows for the auditorium seating capacity to be adjusted accordingly.

The audio control room, where the Vista FOH console racks are, is centrally located on the first of the three levels above the stalls. The Vista racks incorporate the DSP core, I/O frames, and power supplies. By moving the control system for the Vista 8 into the same rack, Studer’s engineers have made it possible to have two moveable control surfaces: one with two input bays, and another with input and control bay. These lightweight frames are connected to the main rack by fiber optic cable. Complete freedom to move the frames anywhere in the house is enabled by a fiber patchbay with wall boxes in different positions. Each frame is so lightweight that two people can easily move it. All of the Studer equipment has been supplied by Kinovox A/S, Studer’s distributor in Denmark.

The unique flexibility of the Vista system was the main reason that the Opera House chose Studer as a supplier, and the design of this console has benefited from considerable input from the Opera House technical team, led by Claus Wolter. In total, the Studer Vista 8 FOH console, with integrated digital routing matrix, is capable of offering up to 288 inputs and 144 outputs. The remote operating desk has 20+2 faders, while the remote bay has another 20 faders. The two units can be operated discretely in separate locations in the house, or fixed together, in the control room or in the auditorium.

The I/O frames hold 120 mike/line inputs, 48 analog line outputs, 16 digital AES/EBU input/outputs, and 32 mono equivalent ADAT input and output channels.

The Copenhagen Opera House will open with a Royal Command Performance on January 15, 2005. The first opera performance will be Verdi’s Aïda on January 26, preceded by the first ballet performance, Three Companies–Three Works, on January 16.