Invisible Cities: An Opera for Headphones Receives Local Emmy® Nomination for Best Entertainment Programming
KCET’s Artbound Special Explores Creativity and Innovation Behind Visionary Experimental Opera, Made Possible with Sennheiser Audio Technology
Old Lyme, CT, July 16, 2014: Audio specialist Sennheiser announced that Invisible Cities: An Opera for Headphones has been nominated for a Los Angeles Area Emmy® Award by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Invisible Cities: An Opera for Headphones was commissioned by Sennheiser and produced by KCET, the leading independent public media organization serving Southern California, and The Industry, the L.A. based experimental opera company.
Invisible Cities: An Opera for Headphones [kcet.org/invisiblecities] was featured online and on-air last December in a multimedia series for KCET’s arts and culture series, Artbound. The series provided an exclusive, in-depth look at the artisitic and technological challenges that collaborators The Industry, L.A. Dance Project and Sennheiser faced in creating the world’s first large scale opera for wireless headphones. Yuval Sharon, Founder and Artistic Director of The Industry, contacted Sennheiser in early 2013 to help make the wireless opera production become a reality.
“Invisible Cities would not have been possible without Sennheiser’s support,” Sharon explains. “I actually feel like Sennheiser was a creative partner for me because it was their technology, their spirit of innovation and their love of experimentation that really gave me the confidence to create this project in the first place. The fact that they came on board at such an early stage and really wanted to support something that was a vision and not yet tangible as a reality and said ‘yes’ gave me the confidence to move forward and create this project.”
Invisible Cities, written by Christopher Cerrone and based on the 1972 novel by Italo Calvino, took audience members on a multi-sensory journey through Los Angeles’ Union Station, where they experienced an operatic narrative consisting of live dance performance, orchestral music and dramatic dialog: all driven by wireless headphone technology.
In addition to hundreds of wireless consumer headphones worn by attending opera patrons, the production utilized other Sennheiser technology including wired and wireless microphones, IEM (In Ear Monitor) systems, a complex antenna farm set up through the terminal, as well as Sennheiser’s latest innovation: its state of the art Digital 9000 system, which delivered eight channels of uncompressed, artifact free audio.
About Invisible Cities:
Hailed by The Hollywood Reporter as a “signal cultural event” and “a delicate and beautiful opera” by The Los Angeles Times, Invisible Cities was a joint production by The Industry and L.A. Dance Project which premiered at Los Angeles’ historic Union Station and performed to sold-out audiences during its run in October and early November 2013. Based on Italo Calvino’s fantastical novel, the opera was composed and adapted by Christopher Cerrone, conceived and directed by The Industry’s founder and artistic director Yuval Sharon, with choreography by Danielle Agami. The production utilized wireless technology provided by Sennheiser, offering audience members headphones to hear the opera amid the normal “hustle and bustle” of the train stationís everyday life.
On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. Throughout its nearly 50-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children’s programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org. KCET is a service of KCETLink.
Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in 60 countries around the world with U.S. headquarters in Old Lyme, Conn. Sennheiser’s pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the company with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy, and the Scientific and Engineering Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
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1. Invisible Cities took place at Los Angeles’ Union Station during Fall, 2013 (photo credit: Dana Ross)
2. Sennheiser’s David Missall describes Sennheiser’s technical contribution to Invisible Cities in KCET’s Artbound series.
3. During Invisible Cities, a series of Sennheiser antennas were placed throughout the facility to ensure seamless wireless coverage to both consumers and production staff.