Invisible Cities Opens to Sell-Out Performances at Los Angeles' Union Station as Sennheiser Technology Enables 'Artistic Creation Without Borders'
City of Los Angeles Issues Proclamation to Invisible Cities as Sennheiser Delivers Highly Personalized, Yet Communal Artistic Experience to Consumers
Invisible Cities, which is based on the 1972 novel by Italo Calvino that explores Marco Polo’s descriptions of fantastical cities as described to Emperor Kublai Khan, turns the classic operatic archetype on its head, transforming Los Angeles’ iconic Union Station into a constantly moving and artistically unique experience for each participant. Invisible Cities pushes the limits of artistic production and is made possible through Sennheiser’s wireless headphone and microphone technology. This enables patrons to experience a vastly repurposed art form both as independent participants and as a connected, communal audience.
“Over the last decade, we have seen technology increasingly become a primary driver in the creation of art,” commented Stefanie Reichert, director of strategic marketing, Sennheiser. “Invisible Cities relies on a very creative application of Sennheiser’s leading edge wireless microphone and headphone technology to deliver an ingenious, pioneering artistic experience to its audiences. As Invisible Cities illustrates, Sennheiser’s wireless microphone and headphone technology enables the consumer to be more of a participant in the artistic performance itself.”
Sennheiser’s wireless headphones enable participants to have a unique perceptual experience based on an almost infinite number of vantage points from which they can view the performance. At the same time, participants are gathered together in the highly ‘communal’ environment of a train station and all wearing headphones. Union Station, with its illustrious history and exquisite architecture, serves as the perfect backdrop to this tale of people in imaginary cities as cast members intermingle with both active audience members and ordinary passers by.
“Being in your own space, yet still being part of a community is a very common style of today’s generation,” Reichert said. “As social media and personalized listening experiences permeate the lives of modern consumers, Invisible Cities illustrates that people can share a communal experience with others while still enjoying art independently. This production actually leverages this phenomenon into its dramatic presentation, creating a deeper and more meaningful experience for participants.”
With its unorthodox approach and creative use of Sennheiser wireless technology, Invisible Cities successfully reinvents the traditional opera in many ways. For example, with no opera house or assigned seats, audience members are free to move about the entire performance space — a public train terminal — as the opera progresses. This often puts them directly ‘on-stage’ aside actors and performers. Regular terminal passengers and bystanders — perhaps initially unaware that a dramatic event is unfolding before their eyes — become an impromptu element in the performance as someone standing directly beside them dressed in 14th century attire, suddenly breaks out into beautiful song.
In addition to Sennheiser’s RS 120 consumer headphones worn by participants, Invisible Cities’ technical production also relies on Sennheiser’s state of the art Digital 9000 professional wireless system, which transmits pristine audio for the duration of the performances. This system, which was launched last year after having been under development for over a decade, is the most advanced wireless system in the world and used in top level theatre, music and broadcasting events.
For more information on Invisible Cities, including performance dates and ticket information, please visit http://invisiblecitiesopera.com/.