Cork is in fact the Irish city of the title, and the venue in question is the venerable Opera House, right in the centre of the city on the banks of the Lee.
The history of the Opera House is as dramatic and varied as the programme of shows – starting life back in 1852 as the Athenaeum in the south of the city, finally being crowned Cork’s Opera House in 1877 having been deconstructed and rebuilt brick by brick further north in its current location! For nearly one hundred years it served the culture hungry people of the city, until in early December 1955, a devastating fire resulted it the destruction and eventual demolition of the building.
It would be a further ten years before the city would again have a venue to rival the scale of original, but, following a decade of fund-raising (the Opera house is non-profit and has a charitable status) a new building was erected on the same site.
Due to the continued success of the venue and demands made by modern productions, a new front of house was designed in 1993 and seven years later updates were complete . A café, a shop and corporate boxes were added to the extensive remodelling of the front of house space.
XTA’s part in the upgrades to this important venue, arguably southern Ireland’s premiere, has been to provide all signal distribution and microphone splitting duties, on a suitably large scale. Cork was given the honour of becoming Ireland’s Capital of Culture in 2005 and a total of 88 channels of our DS800 mic/line distribution systems were included in an upgrade to the front of house system, and now, 15 years later, the time had come to upgrade them again.
Colm Hinchion, Head of Sound, had this to say about the original reasons for selecting the DS800s back in the early naughties: “Head of Sound back in 2005 was Lawrence White, so he made this choice and what a wise one it was. Since their installation, I reckon the units have done thousands of shows without a murmur – we are now averaging 275 shows a year here!”
Colm continues, “The decision to upgrade was simple – after 15 years of excellent service, we either were going to need to send the units back for a tune-up, or invest in some new equipment to hopefully get us flawlessly though another 15 years. With the improved specs of the 8000, we decided to go with the upgraded version and replace them all!”
The upgrade was facilitated by Derek O’Sullivan, Managing Director of Performance Audio and Light.
Derek was keen to point out the advantages of the newer units over the originals. “The DS8000 retains the excellent interface of the 800, with improvements in key areas of use such as even better mic pre’s, separate ground lifts for Front of House and Monitors, and the brilliant OB Split facility to give you instant 2 to 16 distribution. The dual redundant power supply and cool under stage illumination round off a winning package.”
With the Opera House busier than ever, hosting John Grant, the Three Tenors, Rhythm of the Dance in the next few weeks, as well as a burgeoning roster of comedy and of course opera, the DS8000s remain as crucial as ever to all of these performances.
Colm concludes “XTA’s reputation for the most reliable splitters in the business means we’ve dropped in these replacements without a second thought and their sterling performance will help all our acts shine!”