Sound of Four Seasons
by Janet Collins
Inside the glass box of Toronto's Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts is the curvilinear R. Fraser Elliott Hall. Belying the elegance of the decor is a thoroughly researched and executed acoustical design. The stacking of the balconies, the selection of materials, the texture of the basket-weave plaster shell, and other carefully considered characteristics coordinate to optimize musical performance and listening enjoyment.
The hall accommodates an audience of 2,000 stacked over five levels or "rings." The orchestra has seats for 900, the grand ring can seat 148, while rings 3, 4, and 5 can accommodate 310, 282, and 360 respectively.
Acoustician Robert Essert, director and founder of London-based Sound Space Design Ltd., says that a hall designed to accommodate an audience of 1,500 to 2,000 is best for a wide range of operatic presentations. "The bigger the room, the less powerful singers and the orchestra can be," says Essert. "On the other hand, if the room is too small, it will be too loud for Wagner's large orchestras." >>>
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Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects.
Photo: Steven Evans Photography
Four Seasons auditorium.
Photo: Tim Griffith Photographer
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