The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts has provided entertainment to the local community since it opened in 1904. From burlesque and Broadway touring shows, to silent films and movies – the venue has been a fixture in Worcester, Massachusetts for more than 100 years.
Over the years the space has been modified with additions and renovations. The latest transformation was completed in 2008 when the Theatre returned to its former glory and was christened the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Currently owned by the non-profit Worcester Center for the Performing Arts (WCPA), the theatre recently upgraded their sound reinforcement system with the installation of Anya loudspeakers from Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW).
The theatre is a large, rectangular room with seating for 2,300 on the main floor and large balcony that dominates the back of the room. The theatre regularly hosts nationally prominent entertainers, Broadway national touring companies, and family touring companies as well as provides a local outlet for community based artists and organizations.
“The new design approach with Anya eliminates the anomalies created by the shape of the room and produces clean, clear sound throughout the entire listening area,” explains Hanover Audio Designer/Head of Audio Nick Joyce (I.A.T.S.E. Local 96).
The system design – which was created by EAW’s Application Support Group (ASG) team using EAW Resolution software – consists of 12 Anya modules hung left/right, six per side, from the proscenium.
Each 3-way, full-range Anya array module features 14 high frequency compression drivers, six 5-inch mid-frequency cone transducers – arranged in two columns of three – and dual 15-inch low frequency cone transducers. Every Anya module also includes a field-replaceable power and processing unit with 22 channels of digital signal processing and amplification to drive each of the module’s 22 transducers.
“We built a model of the room and the system in the Resolution software,” explains Gino Pellicano, EAW ASG specialist. “From there it takes a look at everything and optimizes the system to work over the audience area defined in the model. The software handles DSP and system optimization – it takes hours off of the commissioning process.”
In addition to providing even coverage, the Anya system also handled some of the acoustical issues the room had in the past. The back wall of the orchestra level is parabolic in shape and focused a lot of energy back on the seating area. The slap back was a constant focus of complaints from audience and artists. Because Anya controls vertical energy so well, it delivers specific vertical coverage to the seating area. It reduces the affect of the room on the system so clarity is much greater than any other system installed in the theatre.
“There is nothing not to like about the Anya system,” explains Nick. “You have to forget everything you have ever learned or known about loudspeaker technology because Anya completely reworks it – and it’s better than you could imagine.”
Recently the performing arts center hosted John Legend, who is known for his diverse vocal range. During his show he performed at times with a string quartet, acoustic guitar and piano, creating an intimate experience for the audience.
“John has a wide vocal range – frequency wise – with lots of power and hot spots throughout the set,” explains Jon Ostrin, FOH engineer for John Legend. “It can be challenging for a sound system to reinforce the clarity, depth and warmth of his performance. Anya had no problem — it was one of the best sets I had ever heard.”
Ostrin continues, “The Anya system covered the room spectacularly with an amazingly even disbursement of sound. The frequency response was fantastic. For the first time I could hear the high end bowing on the cello – I don’t know that I had ever heard that before.”
In addition to John Legend, the Hanover Theatre for Performing Arts will also welcome Diana Ross, Clint Black, Paul Anka, Trace Adkins and Mario Frangoulis to their stage this year.
“I have never heard anything do what Anya does to my room,” Nick concludes. “It is exciting to use the system with all of these amazing performers and see the audience experience the warmth and clarity of the music from every seat in the house.”