Anaïs Mitchell’s spellbinding hit musical Hadestown has drawn world-renowned attention since making its highly anticipated Broadway debut at the Walter Kerr Theater last April. Directed by Rachel Chavkin, the show boasts an all-star audio production team, led by sound designers Jessica Paz and Nevin Steinberg, who selected top-of-the-line equipment to tell the exquisite and visceral story of the musical. Included among the show’s audio gear are DPA Microphones’ 4066 Omnidirectional Headsets, 4061 Omnidirectional Lavaliers and 4099 Instrument Mics.
When Chavkin expressed to the pair that her direction for Hadestown was to have the theater feel like a concert hall, they immediately knew that microphone selection would be especially important. “For the actors, whom are all double mic’ed, we chose a combination of DPA 4066 Omnidirectional Headset Mics with backup 4061 Miniature Omnidirectional Mics attached to the frame,” says Paz. “I greatly appreciate the discreet profile of the 4061s as they are very easy to hide in a wig or someone’s hair.”
Paz also appreciates the small stature of the brand’s 4099 Instrument Mics. “With the band being on stage, we wanted to keep a very neat and tidy look that was free of microphone stands,” she explains. “So, we chose to rely on DPA’s 4099 Instrument Mics for close-mic’ing the strings (guitar, cello, bass and violin). Aside from the benefit of its small size, the 4099 is also simple to attach to instruments, easy to work with and sounds great on anything you put it on. Additionally, we placed a 4061 inside of the housing of the piano to capture its full sound.”
The DPA microphones that were used on Hadestown were purchased through equipment rental house, Masque Sound. “The people at DPA and Masque Sound were wonderful to work with,” adds Paz. “DPA provides superior microphone solutions that truly allow us to achieve the audio quality we desire. Thanks to our DPA mics, Hadestown sounds amazing.”
Since implementing DPA mics for Hadestown, Paz has upgraded to microphones with CORE by DPA technology for her work on Kiss My Aztec! at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, as well as the off-Broadway revival of Little Shop of Horrors. “The CORE version adds another layer of sound quality as well as improved water resistance—which is a great benefit when dealing with sweaty actors,” she says. “We plan to use DPA’s CORE line of mics moving forward, including on the Hadestown tour.”
Paz was initially introduced to DPA five years ago while working as an associate for the late, great Sound Designer Mark Menard at the Public Theater. “When I first heard DPA mics, they instantly delivered a robust and crystal-clear sound,” she adds. “Today, DPA has become my go-to microphone for Broadway and theatrical productions, whenever possible.”
Hadestown is an adaptation of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, with Orpheus traveling to the underworld to rescue Eurydice. Since opening to critical acclaim, the show has earned 14 Tony Award nominations, winning in eight separate categories, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. For their collaboration on Hadestown, Paz and Steinberg earned a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle nomination.