At both the Grosses and Kleines Festspielhaeuser, I have always sat in
the loge (i.e., balcony). So, my remarks on acoustics do not apply to
the Parkett (i.e., main floor.)
At the Grosses (large) Festspielhaus, the sound is marvelous. The
only problem is that the seats are quite narrow, so it can be very
uncomfortable for patrons of larger-than-average girth. This hall is very
wide, and very shallow, as the stage was carved out of the rock of the
At the Kleines (small) Festspielhaus, the sound is terrible. The hall is
shaped like a long, narrow coffin. However, this is due to change over the
next couple of seasons, as the management has agreed on a plan to renovate
and increase the size of the hall (and, hopefully, improve the acoustics)
by growing in the only direction available: downward. A plan was recently
announced to excavate beneath the current parkett, creating a new main
floor while the existing hall remains in use as-is during the first phase
of construction. Then the existing parkett and stage will be removed, to
be replaced by the new subterranean floor, and a new stage at that lower
level. I wish them luck -- they're going to need it!
As for the quality of the sound on broadcasts, maybe they need to recruit
Jay David Saks (audio producer for seemingly every American opera broadcast)
to assist their technicians.
On Mon, 16 Oct 2000 11:04:23 EDT, Tim Oldroyd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>I agree with Pieter on this one. Whenever I hear a broadcast from the
>grosses festspielhaus it always sounds like an enormous bathroom. I
>this is purely a microphone issue. The stage of the house is enormous and
>singer turning in the other direction sounds instantly distant. I believe
>it is one of if not the widest in the world. I have sat many times in the
>stalls (orchestra seats) and the boxes and have never had a problem with
>acoustic in situ. I have also never had a balance problem with orchestra.
>As for the small house, its problem has always been the sight lines. It is
>an extremely uncomfortable theatre and plans are afoot to replace it.
>Whether this will now happen with Mortier's departure is anyone's guess