Magyar Állami Operaház

ProjectMagyar Állami OperaházLocationBudapestArchitectAndor Fürjes, HUNGARYInstallerChromasound Zrt HungarySubmitted byChromasound Plc

At the time the Hungarian Opera House had been built there were no sound projectors in mind. Although traditional productions do not necessarily require this technique these days, the potential for contemporary staging works applying modern sound and light effects required by the standards of the present day was considered.

In addition to the pleasant look, the placement of the speakers was carried out in a way to not disturb the audience’s free view of the stage and also provide an outstanding acoustic performance to fulfil the strict requirements.

This was particularly challenging in the large Auditorium where 16 speakers were chosen forming eight-metre high compelling-looking columns of speakers on each side of the stage aperture so that they are almost invisible at first glance as the speaker system blends into its surroundings.

The designer’s choice was to use the system elements of K-Array in a large section of the main auditorium and the public spaces as well because of their discreet look that comes with exceptional sound quality and a high degree of freedom in customisation.

Across the building, almost all K-Array loudspeakers have been installed with unique RAL colours. The main loudspeaker system in the auditorium includes 16 pieces of K-Array Python KP102 I and 8 K-Array Thunder KMT21 I Sub loudspeakers. Two by four of the mid-high speakers are installed on each side of the stage on a vertical plane, while one speaker is positioned closer to the audience area in line with the front stage functioning as front-fill speakers. Two of the sub-speakers are placed in line with the front of the stage, two others on each side of the balcony level, and four more under the floor of the audience area.

The implementation of the designed system set us a major challenge as the building of the Opera House is mainly covered with a large number of decorative, artistically painted, stone and wood carved surfaces and of course, as a whole, is protected as a historical monument.

These spacial places (such as the Bertalan Székely Room, the Red Salon, the Ornamental Staircase, the guest buffet, and many others) also required special care fixing modern sound technology only using strictly surface matching hardware and brackets to preserve the historical building’s monumental character.

The aim was to ensure the speakers are blending so well into their surroundings without disrupting the original aesthetic of the building’s interior that the public can barely notice them. The installation was complicated by wall paintings, decorated wood panelling, and stucco.

The Hungarian State Opera reopened in 2022, with an interior renovation that has successfully returned this cultural gem to its former glory. The K-array system provides clear, reliable and discreet audio across a variety of use cases. The audio system designer was positive about the result: “The loudspeaker system is visually just as elegant and graceful as it can be in this historical environment. I sincerely hope that at least some of the audience will be wondering where this great sound is coming from.”