Patrons of the David H. Koch Theater will hear performances naturally—no sound reinforcement to be found in the venue.
Photo: David Shankbone
Situated in the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts (New York City), the David H. Koch Theater (which hosts the New York City Ballet and New York City Opera) has finalized its $107 million renovation, which began in July of 2008. The most unique aspect of the project is the absence of the electronic acoustic enhancement system installed in the theater since 1999. George Steel, general manager and artistic director, told The New York Times that every microphone, amplifier, wire and speaker has been removed — performances will now be heard with natural singing and natural acoustics. Steel told the paper that “the expanded orchestra pit now has an air space under its floor: The players will be able to hear one another better, and the conductor will be able to control balances and give the orchestra presence in the hall without undue volume.”
The theater has undergone a number of acoustical enhancements because of this change, including removing carpet from the floor and rear walls of the auditorium, and adding new acoustic side walls near the proscenium. Additions include a complete onsite media suite for capture/distribution of images and digital sound.