After a more than 3-year absence, international superstar Celine Dion has returned to Las Vegas with Celine, a musical spectacular staged at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Celine features a 31-piece band to accompany Dion, who is performing her hits along with covers of classic pop songs. Celine Dion will perform 70 shows a year and has a 3-year residency at the Colosseum.
Canada-based Solotech was contracted to provide the audio system for the show. Solotech supplied Studer Vista 5 SR consoles to handle both front of house and monitor mixing.
“The previous time Celine performed at the Colosseum, the show, A New Day… was more dance-oriented and theatrical, but this time the music is even more of a focus,” noted front of house engineer Denis Savage. “The 31-piece full orchestra and band includes 16 strings, five horns, a rhythm section plus other musicians, so the mixing requirements for the show are quite demanding. We do four shows a week and each show runs an hour and 45 minutes, with more than 20 songs and numerous cues.”
“We chose the Vista 5 SR for Celine because there was no other console at the time that offered what you could do with the Vista 5 SR. You can configure them the way you want with virtually any amount of ins and outs, and processing,” Savage continued. “We’re running 160 inputs on a console that has a relatively small frame, so it’s a very efficient way of doing things. You can customize the inputs any way you want. I love mixing, and this console is flexible and fun.”
“We first used the Vista 5 SR consoles on Celine Dion’s most recent world tour before installing them for the Vegas show,” said Savage. “We didn’t want to carry a bunch of spares, and their smaller size and weight were advantages. We tried a lot of consoles and found the Vista 5 SR could be used for both front of house and monitoring—the way the 5 SR is designed enables me to set up my console the way I want it, and our monitor engineer Charles Ethier can set his console the way he needs it. No other console gives you that kind of flexibility. At the same time, we have the advantage of both of us working on the same platform.”
“Being the monitor engineer for Celine is a much bigger job compared to the last Colosseum show,” Ethier pointed out. “There are lots of musicians and instruments on stage and with the Vista 5 SR I can mic them all individually, and still feed all the musicians customized in-ear mixes. Another major advantage is that the Vista 5 SR also doesn’t take up much room on the stage.”
“The Vista 5 SR is fast and easy to use – I have a lot of preprogrammed settings that enable me to readily access what I need,” continued Ethier. “For example, I can control the volumes on multiple faders at once just by grouping them and turning one knob, without having to scroll through a lot of pages and navigating a lot of menus. You have to understand that when you’re a monitor engineer, a lot of people constantly ask for ‘more of this and less of that’ in the mix and you have to be quick! The Vista 5 SR has helped me tremendously.”