August 7, 2019 | Written by: Carl Rosenberg  | Original Publication: Boston Society of Architecture Magazine

Operatic Maneuvers

When Margaret Atwood wrote The Handmaid’s Tale in 1985, she couldn’t possibly have imagined it as an opera staged in a gym. But this spring, the Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) produced the mesmerizing work, by composer Poul Ruders and librettist Paul Bentley, with a cast of more than 50 singers and 65 musicians, in Harvard University’s Lavietes Pavilion—a basketball arena.

The production was one of a series of operas that the BLO presents in nontraditional spaces as part of an effort to make opera more accessible and engaging to modern audiences, to highlight innovative artistic experiences, and to challenge the creative processes to keep opera a vital art form. Not unexpectedly, each of these spaces brings its own set of acoustical challenges for an opera performance. A team of consultants at Acentech has been supporting the BLO’s designers and musical staff, who are in charge of producing these “pop-up” shows, with suggestions and design input for acoustical success.

Connect

Locations

Boston / HQ

33 Moulton Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

617 499 8000

Los Angeles Office

601 South Figueroa Street #4050
Los Angeles, CA 90017

213 330 4237

Philadelphia Office

8 Interplex Drive, Suite 218
Trevose, PA 19053

215 245 8244

Charlottesville Office

2150 Wise St #4875
Charlottesville, VA 22905

434 218 0759

NYC Office

250 West Broadway, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10013

617 499 8001

Acentech is an employee-owned company, majority-owned by its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).