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Electro-Voice sound for Italy’s Zelig cabaret

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Straubing, August 2009 One of the most popular cabaret shows on Italian TV, Zelig has enjoyed record ratings since its inception in the mid-1990s. The show is recorded twice weekly in front of an audience of 2,500 in Milan’s Arcimboldi Theatre. The elegant, historic setting gels perfectly with the concept of the hit show, but in terms of technical infrastructure the Arcimboldi Theatre is the soul of modernity.

Sound reinforcement inside the theatre is the responsibility of Milan-based firm Backstage PA. Speech intelligibility is paramount to comedy shows, and music plays an important role in creating and steering emotions. To satisfy both requirements, the team from Backstage PA opted for sound systems from Electro-Voice. The PA comprises 24 Electro-Voice XLD281 loudspeakers (12 per side) driven by a single EV CP4000S amplifier with nine CP3000Ss. The monitor system that delivers foldback to the stage is also from Electro-Voice: six XLE side-fills and two XS212 monitors driven by two CP3000 power amplifiers.

Frederico Farina, the show’s sound engineer, knows the requirements of the production inside out: “When a comedian is on stage delivering a monologue, it’s crucial for him to be able to hear the audience so he can time gags correctly and his words are never drowned by laughter. In the Archimboldi the audience is a very long way from the stage, and during sketches the performers can be scattered quite widely across the stage. It’s essential, therefore, for the monitor system to be of the highest quality. We opted here for the same configuration you’d use at a rock concert, with three XLE side-fills on each side of the stage.?

About Zelig
Named after a cabaret club in Milan, Zeligis one of the most popular comedy shows on Italian television. First broadcast in 1997, the show has occupied a prime time Friday evening slot on Channel 5 since 2000. In May 2009, the show celebrated its 100th broadcast.

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