Cirque du Soleil’s Alegría: In a New Light Reenergised with Britannia Row Sound Design

Alegria takes up residence at London’s Royal Albert Hall with help from Britannia Row.

Widely regarded as Cirque du Soleil’s most iconic touring production, Alegría has been wowing audiences for the past three decades. With no monarchy in situ, Alegría tells the story – through acrobatic genius - of a power struggle between the old guard and the youth in an enthralling battle to take the throne. This action-packed world draws audiences in through exquisite costumes, beautifully crafted set pieces and a GRAMMY-nominated soundtrack.

Bringing this tale to life with the audio impact it deserves- Alegria is Cirque du Soleil’s most streamed and purchased album of all time -is down to Francois Lanteigne, Head of Sound, Cirque du Soleil.

He begins: “Britannia Row has been providing our sound at the Royal Albert Hall since I came to the venue in 2003 with ‘Dralion’, when I was blown away by their turnkey solution. Mixing a Cirque du Soleil show is not a traditional gig; there is a live tableau in front of you, it’s almost like a movie, and you’re mixing the soundtrack live.”

Francois continues: “This can change from a group of 18acrobats performing stunts with powerful music, to a single character enacting a quiet, sad passage with only an accordion playing. Creating those moments with desired intention while keeping the audience engaged can be a tricky task but doing over 300shows a year allows you to develop the ability to read a crowd.”

The music for Alegria: In a New Light has been re-arranged and modernised, with different instrumentation. “The title song is the last thing people hear at the end of the show, and when you walk out, the melody stays with you. We must deliver that to the audience in the best way possible,” he explains.

Francois has mixed over 250 shows in this venue alone, taking the time to sit indifferent seats and assess the experience. “Prediction software is accurate, but listening away from the mixing position is crucial to improving the system design,” he notes. “The sound design has been improved. The technology behind us now is very different to what it was in 1994 when this show started, so we have taken a different approach while keeping the soul of the original concept as a guideline.

“Britannia Row always has the latest technology, so when we start designing the show on the speaker mapping software, we don’t worry about product availability,” he says of building the ideal rig; main hangs of L-Acoustics Kara II loudspeakers, KS21Subwoofers, A15 wide angle speakers and X8 2-way passive coaxial enclosures.   

“The audience here sits at almost 270º around the stage which makes it harder to achieve a consistent image,” he furthers. “The design we realised for this venue was to bring 6 x line array hangs close to the center, above the stage and high enough to be out of sight or acrobatic lines. The low frequencies are tricky to manage for upper levels, so our solution is to run subwoofers from a single location directly in the center, 20m above the stage. We deal with the floor and stall seats with another sub package, centered underneath the stage for even coverage, and the results are excellent.”

Francois concludes noting that as Cirque du Soleil productions are built with and known for attention to detail, Britannia Row is the perfect audio solutions partner: “Britannia Row apply the same standard to everything they do,” he says. “From the first design drafts to scheduling, cabling details, system installation and fine-tuning until it’s show time, they leave no detail behind.”

No items found.
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.