SC Media Canada supplies CODA Audio system for ambitious immersive reboot of theatre show watched by millions…
La Fabuleuse Histoire d’un Royaume (The Fabulous History of a Kingdom) is billed as a show that stimulates every sense. Held annually at the 2,300-seat Théâtre du Palais in the Quebec City of Saguenay, it is, on the face of it, a community theatre show, although its production values reflect a rather more ambitious and distinctly professional approach. A cast of 150 volunteer actors play multiple roles within a scenic deployment that features horses, fire, water, cannon-shots and more besides. During the course of its 35-year run charting the birth of Sanguenay, La Fabuleuse has played to 1.3 million spectators – a quite staggering record for an all-French production outside Canada’s major metropolitan centres.
Last year the show made a grand return after a two-year pandemic-enforced break, scaling new heights with the introduction of an immersive sound system delivered by leading event suppliers, LSM Ambiocréateurs. Founder and president of LSM Serge Lachance, began his involvement with La Fabuleuse more than a decade ago when the company became the show’s technical equipment supplier, and for the last 7 years has been its sound designer and FOH engineer. The technical growth of the production has been a continuing process across the years, and with music and dialogue completely re-recorded for the 2022 run (the original recordings dated back 30 years), the production team, headed by Jimmy Doucet, wished to elevate it further. With a soundtrack now comprised of 196 tracks, the possibility of using of an immersive system was irresistible. Serge Lachance chose a CODA Audio system as the backbone of the project as he explains:
“It was something of a happy accident for the team. CODA wasn’t my first choice for the production, largely because I was unfamiliar with the brand, but supply chain issues wreaked havoc with the original plans. While other companies were nervous about delivery, CODA was the company who came to the table and could deliver.”
After hearing many good things about the brand and learning that CODA rigs had been used on tours with Corey Hart and others, Lachance decided to give the company a chance:
“For the size of the boxes there was a lot of output. The CODA option offered solid rigging and construction and they had their control system together. They could deliver a complete package that worked. The efficiency of the subs is amazing – we only had four sub modules for this big theatre – they really move a lot of air.”
Installed with on-site support from Arif Nathu and Bradley Fox of CODA Audio distributor SC Media Canada, the system at the Théâtre du Palais comprises 5 sets of 4 x CODA Audio APS cabinets for the wavefront, with 5 x SCV-F bass enclosures suspended behind each set. 18 x CODA Audio HOPS8 cover the rear and side of the bleachers, with a further 12 x HOPS8 for the rear and side coverage of the floor. The front stage proximity loudspeakers are 6 x HOPS5, and 4 x SCP series subwoofers for added bass complete the system. The system of 67 pieces is driven by 14 x LINUS14 DSP amplifiers.
The immersive redesign of La Fabuleuse Histoire d’un Royaume, proved to be logistically and technically an immensely challenging project, but the results have more than justified the team’s faith, rewarding audiences with an incredibly dynamic visual and aural experience.
CODA Audio’s Global Sales and Marketing Director David Webster sums up:
“We’re very proud to have a CODA system at the heart of this spectacular production and applaud the work of SC Media’s expert team in supporting the project. The supply chain challenges that plagued other manufacturers during (and since) the pandemic were alleviated by the fact that we manufacture every component of CODA systems ourselves, so we were not dependent on anyone else. This ensured that the system was delivered on time. Whilst this was a crucial part of the project’s success, it’s ultimately the power and intelligibility of our systems that is most important. For an immersive production of this magnitude and complexity, every element of the show is carefully designed to enhance the audience experience – CODA Audio ensures that it achieves its ambitions.”
Images – Published by NWC Corporation.