Das große Welttheater (The Great World Theatre) by Spanish writer Calderon de la Barca, has been performed on the abbey square of the Benedictine monastery in Einsiedlen, Switzerland, at various intervals since 1924. Last performed in 2007, the play, which follows the medieval mystery play tradition, has in more recent years been re-interpreted by different authors to relate to modern times. This year’s production is an interpretation by Tim Krohn, directed by Beat Fäh. The team focuses on exploring the lifespans of today’s society and the associated choices and problems as each individual plays out his/her role from the cradle to the grave. Featuring around 600 local people, the open-air performance runs from June to September.
Sound reinforcement for this spectacular theatre piece is provided by a range of Fohhn loudspeaker systems, including the new Focus Modular active line array systems with beam steering capability, which are making their live performance debut. Two FM-400 low-mid modules (each with 32 x 4” long excursion drivers) combined with an FM-110 high frequency module (containing 16 x 1’ compression drivers) are located to the right of the main entrance, covering a distance of 90 metres. Placed behind a special acoustic material, whose design matches that of the abbey brickwork, the modules are completely invisible to audiences and do not visually impair the abbey’s impressive façade.
Further Focus Modular systems can be found to the left and right of the steps leading to the monastery forecourt, mounted on scaffolding. On each side an FM-400 / FM-110 combination is paired with a Fohhn 8500W, 21” PS-9 active subwoofer for additional low frequency reinforcement. Mounted to other scaffolding are four Linea Series LX-601 high performance line source systems, covering a distance of 25-40 metres. Monitoring for the performance areas is provided by eight slim but powerful Linea LX-150 line source systems. Two systems are each mounted to the scaffolding by the abbey and on the steps, while four LX-150 systems are used around the edges of the performance area at the bottom of the audience grandstand. 28 XT-10 compact full-range loudspeakers mounted on masts, together with 6 XT-33 rear-mounted loudspeakers at the top of the grandstand, provide surround sound effect coverage for the 3000-capacity audience. Under the grandstand, six PS-9 subs are symmetrically positioned – these also function as low frequency sound effect speakers. Four XT-10 loudspeakers are also used for coverage in the audience wheelchair area, with a further system over the exit area at the bottom of the grandstand.
The production area has been equipped with two EasyPort FP-Media systems that function as control speakers. Fohhn DSP-controlled Class D amplifiers are used to power all the passive loudspeakers, with 12 D-4.1200 4-channel systems and two D-2.1500 2-channel systems deployed in total. A TiMax system ensures that audiences always experience the source of the sound in relation to the movements of the actors.
All loudspeakers have been fitted with rain covers to protect the systems against the effects of bad weather during the production’s three-month run.
Congratulations to all participants, especially our Swiss distributor Sennheiser Schweiz AG, on this highly successful project. We also wish the actors and audiences success and enjoyment for the remainder of the performance run.