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The Critic And His Critics

September 28, 1986

In his review of the Luciano Pavarotti/Madelyn Renee concert ("Pavarotti and Friends in a Gala Bowl Benefit," Sept. 6), Martin Bernheimer was accurate when he said ". . . electronic acoustical conditions" had "transformed Hollywood Bowl into the world's largest echo chamber."

As an audio engineer, I have heard that sound before. It happens when the artist insists that his stage monitors be turned up so loud that they overwhelm the sound system, as happened that night.

It is impossible to have the stage monitors turned up and still pick up the orchestra in a live situation, as the monitor speakers (and therefore the singer's voice) is louder than any of the instruments in the orchestra. If this effect is added to a very reverberant enclosure (the shell), it will be impossible to project a good sound into the audience.

I have it on good authority that the monitor level was Pavarotti's desire, and that when the level was modified during rehearsal, he exploded in a large " fungi " cloud.

As Bernheimer said, he was in magnificent voice, and I did enjoy Renee. It did seem, however, even from the cheap seats, that Senor Pavarotti's ego exceeds even his waistline.

SHELLEY A. HERMAN

Hollywood

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