The performers in \"The Lighthouse\" climb the set and go all over the place.

Video: To The Lighthouse, Part 6

Next in our series of videos from the Dallas Opera and Dallas Theater Center's co-production of The Lighthouse: How technology helps the conductor keep up with the performers.

published Saturday, March 17, 2012

In cartoons, opera singers are always portrayed as standing at the edge of the stage and singing out to the audience. That’s a characterization of an old fashioned practiced called “park and bark." In the past, there was very good reason for a singer planting themselves as close to the orchestra pit as possible and keeping his or her eyes on the conductor at all times.  Singers are the most prominently featured instruments, as it were, in an opera. It is imperative that they hear the pitch and stay in time. 

Technology has made it possible for the acting and directing styles in operas to change; specifically through the use of microphones, video feeds and sound monitors.

Singers in Dallas Opera productions do not wear microphones. If you go to see The Lighthouse this weekend, you will hear the singers' voices unaided and without enhancement, all the way to the back of the house. However, there are microphones in the orchestra pit, although the audience may never know it. The mics in the pit are not for the house, they are for the monitors onstage. The singers in The Lighthouse move all over the place, they climb rope ladders and go up winding staircases. All the while, they must stay in pitch. The monitors help them do that. 

The introduction of camouflaged television monitors, projecting a direct video feed of the conductor, have allowed the singers to see the conductor from anywhere on the stage, keeping them in time. 

In this video, Dallas Opera sound engineer Brent Brito shows how it all works. 


Appearing in “FILLING IN THE GAPS”: Dallas Opera Sound Engineer Brent Brito. Produced and edited by Emily Trube and Eric Shaddix. Interview by Emily Trube.

The first videos in this series can be viewed here, and the second installment is here, the third one is here, and the fourth is here, and the fifth here.

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs' feature about the project is here.

Keith Cerny's Off the Cuff column about creating new opera is hereThanks For Reading

Dates, Prices, & Other Details

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Video: To The Lighthouse, Part 6
Next in our series of videos from the Dallas Opera and Dallas Theater Center's co-production of The Lighthouse: How technology helps the conductor keep up with the performers.
by Emily Trube

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :