NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

1884 __ Opera by Telephone at the Lisbon Opera House
Comment : « When the new opera "Lauriana" was produced recently for the first time, at the Lisbon Opera House, the King and Queen of Portugal were in mourning for the Princess of Saxony. The etiquette of courts prevented their royal highnesses from attending, and their despair thereat added to their grief at the loss of the Princess was like to have overwhelmed them. If Mohammed could not go to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed. And so he brought the opera to their royal highnesses--by telephone. Six microphone transmitters were placed about the front of the operatic stage in multiple arc. They were mounted on lead and soft rubber pedestals to prevent disturbance from the vibration of the building. Each transmitter was fed by three sets of batteries, which were switched on every twenty minutes in succession to keep on the current strength. There were receivers at the palace end for the use of the royal family, who thus heard the opera from beginning to end. ». (Scientific American, June 14, 1884, page 373)On Saturday last the Edison Gower-Bell Telephone Company, of Lisbon, had the honour of transmitting the opera "Lauriana" by telephone to the Ajuda Palace. The King afterwards expressed his complete satisfaction, the transmission being perfect and even the words of the singers bieng understood. The arrangements were under the direction of Mr. Alan Danvers, the company's representative and engineer in Lisbon. (The Electrical review, v. 14, 1884)The etiquette of the Portuguese court was recently evaded by the use of the telephone, when the King and the Queen, who were in mourning for the Princess of Saxony, could not attend at the first production of the new opera "Lauriana", by Augusto d'Oliveira Machado (1845-1924). Six microphone transmitters connected in multiple arc were placed along the front of the stage, connected with receivers at the palace, enabling the royal family to listen to the melody. (The Electrician and electrical engineer, v. 3, 1884, p. 154)

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