Osaka's Theatre BRAVA! debuts

Theatre BRAVA! in Osaka, Japan.

The denizens of Osaka, Japan's second-largest city, enjoy a reputation as very good business people. When the business day ends, however, Osakans often partake of the city's lively nightlife. For many, that means an evening at Theatre BRAVA!, which opened its doors in 2005 and has seen hardly a dark night since. The former Osaka MBS Theatre has undergone a substantial renovation, including new décor, revamped lighting, and a new self-powered Meyer sound system.

The theatre is owned by the Mainichi Broadcasting System, one of Japan's first commercial broadcast networks, which reaches more than 22 million viewers in the country's Kansai region, an area that includes the cities of Osaka and Kobe. Theatre BRAVA!, named for an Italian eulogy for women, is a multipurpose venue that offers a wide range of presentations, including drama, dance, concerts, opera and performance art.

The diversity of presentations was a prime consideration in the theatre's redesign and renovation. The stage was designed as a flexible, movable structure that is capable of adjusting to various models, depending on the production needs. Even the theatre's logo, described by Mainichi as "a visualization of the cheers and applause featured in the letters 'Brava!'" can be transformed into a myriad of colors and compositions to suit the mood of different presentations. The theatre seats just more than 1100, with slightly more than 700 patrons seated on the orchestra level and an additional 400 in the balcony.

Osaka-based Native Audio Company provided the audio system, which is based around a line array of eight M1D loudspeakers suspended at the center of the proscenium and two CQ-2 narrow-coverage boxes hung on either side. A pair of floor-standing 700-HP subs covers low-frequency content. Two more CQ-2 cabinets are positioned atop each subwoofer. The system is designed to be flexible, so the groundstacked CQ-2 units can be used to localize voices at stage level, or to serve as front fill.

The main M1D/CQ-2 rig is augmented with a smaller system comprising four flown UPA-2P boxes, as well as two UPA-1P cabinets on stands. The UPA-1P units are designed for easy mobility, so that they can be placed in any of several locations as needed.

A 48-channel Yamaha PM4000 console handles the front-of-house mix, with effects processing provided by Yamaha and TC Electronic reverbs and delays. System equalization is focused around two Meyer CP-10 complementary phase parametric EQs. A selection of Ramsa wireless microphones, as well as wired mics from Shure, AKG and Sennheiser complete the audio chain.

Since its grand reopening the theatre has played host to several sold-out productions, including director/choreographer Jo Kanamori, Noism05's critically acclaimed Triple Bill, playwright David Leveaux's musical Nine, and a two-week run of a modern Noh play.

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