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The Proscenium of Opera Houses as a Disappeared Intangible Heritage: A Virtual Reconstruction of the 1840s Original Design of the Alighieri Theatre in Ravenna

1
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Bologna, 40136 Bologna, Italy
2
Acoustics Air and Emissions, Atkins, London SW1E 5BY, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Viale Risorgimento 2, 40126 Bologna, Italy.
Acoustics 2019, 1(3), 694-710; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics1030041
Received: 1 July 2019 / Revised: 23 August 2019 / Accepted: 23 August 2019 / Published: 1 September 2019
In a Historical Opera House (HOH), the proscenium is the foreground part of the stage. Until the end of the 19th Century, it was extended through the cavea, being the orchestra placed at the same level of the stalls, without an orchestra pit. Soloists often moved in the proscenium when they sung, in order to increase the strength of the voice and the intelligibility of the text. The Alighieri theatre in Ravenna, designed by the Meduna brothers, the former designers of Venice’s “La Fenice” theater, is chosen as a case study. During a refurbishment in 1928, the proscenium of the stage was removed in order to open the orchestra pit, which was not considered in the original design. The original design and the present one are compared by using numerical simulations. Acoustic measurements of the opera house and vibro-acoustic measurements on a wooden stage help to reach a proper calibration of both models. Results are discussed by means of ISO 3382 criteria: the proscenium increases the sound strength of the soloists but reduces the intelligibility of the text. View Full-Text
Keywords: opera house; cultural heritage; room acoustics; shape optimisation; archeoacoustics opera house; cultural heritage; room acoustics; shape optimisation; archeoacoustics
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D’Orazio, D.; Rovigatti, A.; Garai, M. The Proscenium of Opera Houses as a Disappeared Intangible Heritage: A Virtual Reconstruction of the 1840s Original Design of the Alighieri Theatre in Ravenna. Acoustics 2019, 1, 694-710.

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