Views from the top: The classical engineer (Andrea Taglia)21 August 2016
That opera singer who sang after the Leicester City premiership victory? His man.
Who are you?
I’m Andrea Taglia, 45 years old and live in Firenze, Italy.
What do you do?
As well as working as FOH engineer for almost ten years with Andre Bocelli. I also provide consultancy for several companies, design sound systems for installation, support manufacturers of audio products and hold masterclasses on sound design, orchestra sound reinforcement and wireless systems.
Where do you do it?
Worldwide – over 100 flights per year!
Why do you do it?
I am passionate about audio and love providing audiences an unforgettable listening experience.
How did you get started in the business?
When I was at college, I wrote reports on shows and often complained about the poor audio, so was invited to help… I understood the complexity of sound and got passionate about it and decided to concentrate on physics and acoustics.
What’s your biggest success to date?
Every time a spectator comes to the console, starts asking for details of the sound system and congratulates us for the sound, it’s a success for us. We’re there to bring the essence of the artist to the audience!
What is the ”issue” that never seems to go away?
Sourcing precise venue information and explaining to promoters that 70 or more orchestra musicians and 60 choir singers on stage is not like a rock band. Our average sound pressure level is much lower than a rock concert, which means that sound systems must be much more accurate as a drop of just 6dB makes the difference between hearing and understanding the words or not!
What’s the biggest challenge coming up?
We have been discussing a project with a concert with the stage hosting about 140 performers floating on a lake. This should be really unusual!
Unusual, certainly! Apart from your globetrotting work with Bocelli, what have been your biggest satisfactions in other audio fields?
Rome’s Parco della Musica is a musical and cultural centre designed by architect Renzo
Piano, originally intended to host only acoustic music in its three main halls (seating 700, 1,200 and 2,800 spectators), but it was decided the rooms would also have to host events ranging from film festivals to jazz and pop concert and seminars so, to avoid visiting production teams having to deal with the rooms’ problematic acoustics when using sound reinforcement, I was called in to design a sound system for the largest room.
I also coordinated the communication systems for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, which included 2,900 wireless in-ear monitors, used by a large number of volunteers with little if any knowledge about how to use them. A total of about 135 frequencies were used for what was a truly unique with some very special requests – such as snipers on top of the roof, who had in-ears to follow the show – but it was good fun!
This is #7 of 10 ‘views from the top’ appearing in PSNLive 2016, PSNEurope’s 11th annual analysis of the European live sound industry.