Opened in 1954, Lausanne’s Theatre de Beaulieu is Switzerland’s largest and most
important theatre. It has hosted some of the most famous stars of the second half of
the twentieth century including Edith Piaf, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Quincy
Jones. A new sound system forms part of a complete renovation of the theatre, with
the choice ultimately focused on L-Acoustics, selected for its wide acceptance by
visiting productions thanks to its coverage, sound pressure levels and impeccable
sound quality. L-Acoustics Swiss Certified Distributor, Hyperson SA, was tasked with
its design and installation.
In January 2016, the theatre’s owner Foundation de Beaulieu and Opus One, one of
Switzerland’s leading event organisers, joined forces to manage the Theatre de
Beaulieu. With the support of the City of Lausanne, they embarked upon the
renovation, which was planned over several years, and also put in place a more
diverse schedule of productions for the venue, to include dance, major musical shows
and comedies, as well as playing host to comedians and live music.
The specifications for the sound system were drawn up by a team comprising Nicolas
Sandoz (production manager for Opus One); Antoine Marchon and Stephane Gattoni
from Zinzoline (co-technical directors of the Theatre de Beaulieu); Philippe Warrand of
scenographer Art’sceno and Fabian Schild; who heads up the fixed installation
department at Hyperson.
“L-Acoustics Kara was chosen as the ideal solution for the room because it provides a
perfect combination of SPL and coverage. It is also very rider friendly,” says Fabian.
“The installation had to take place very quickly during the theatre’s summer break,
and at the same time as the stage, machinery was being upgraded. We were able to
integrate the system by opening up insets at the either side of the stage to leave the
proscenium arch empty, which is what the theatre’s owners wanted.’
The system was designed with the aid of L-Acoustics Soundvision 3D acoustical
simulation programme. It comprises two hangs of 12 Kara each, positioned in the
aforementioned insets, with four ground stacked SB18 in cardioid configuration
directly below the main Kara hangs to cover the main auditorium. A further two SB18,
one either side, sited above the Karas to cover the balcony. Five X8s sit on the stage
lip to provide front-fill, with a further two X8s looking after under balcony fill. The
whole system is amplified by ten LA4X amplified controllers.
Sixteen X15 and three SB18, with amplification from seven LA8, completes the
system. These are mobile and can be used either for additional coverage if required,
or as a multifunctional speaker, particularly for dance productions.
“The theatre is very happy with the results we have achieved,’ says Fabian. “And the
new system has been welcomed unanimously by its productions.’
“With the new Kara system, the productions we welcome to Theatre de Beaulieu don’t
need any persuading to use our house system,’ concludes the theatre’s sound
manager, Nicolas Girardet. “Considering the multitude of production styles we host,
and preferences of their technicians, this was an important challenge. The result is a
truly exceptional sound system.”