Synthetic and Sampled Sound Programming for Opera
Andrea Baggio

Sounds strange?

Nevertheless the usage of samplers and synthesizers in producing particular sounds or special effects in Opera productions has become my job since 1990, when I started to apply my experience as sound programmer to the classical field.

My task is to recreate sounds of rare musical instruments or special effects, then reproduce them not with a tape recorder but through a keyboard: this makes sound management and transportability of the instruments more affordable and easier. Indeed with a sampler you can substitute very huge instruments like pipe organs, or rare instruments like glasharmonica; you can realize very peculiar tunings (like a free regulation of scale temperament); and the player can play even two or more sounds on the same key, depending on the dynamic of the touch. Last but not least is the economic advantage, digital sampling is absolutely competitive compared to the hire of a real instrument.

For example: the beginning of the third act of "Tosca" by G. Puccini; the famous concert of bells, normally played by four players with four tubular bell stands, variously positioned behind the stage, can be easily substituted by only one sampler, whose audio outs are connected to four or more speakers from which all the different notes will be reproduced: bearing in mind that Puccini asked not for tubular bells, but for real bells, writing for each one of them the precise collocation in space; digital sampling does not only provide many practical and economic benefits, but also allows us to play sounds that were previously impossible, and therefore come closer to the sounds that were originally intended.

Which Operas?

Marco Caputo

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Up to these days I worked with a lot of Theatres in Italy and in the world, and I partecipated in hystorical Opera productions like "Tosca in the settings and at the times of Tosca" (Worldvision in 1992), "Tosca"at the Olympic Stadium in Rome 1998, "Zauberflöte" at Teatro della Pergola in Florence, and the italian premiere of "The fall of the house of Usher" in Florence, in token of esteem by conductors like Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, Bruno Bartoletti, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Semyon Bychkov, Daniel Oren, Riccardo Chailly, and by composers like Philip Glass and Luciano Berio. From 1995 to 1997 I worked in Centro Tempo Reale in Florence with programmers like Nicola Bernardini and Alvise Vidolin, and since 1990 I work also as Musical Stage Cohordinator in Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence.


My other activities


© Andrea Baggio 1999-2010

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