Virtual reconstructions of the Théâtre de l’Athénée for archeoacoustic study
* Presenting author
The French ECHO project is a multi-disciplinary collaboration combining the efforts of historians, theater scientists, and acousticians to study the use of voice in 20th century French theaters. An audio-visual simulation framework was created which combines auralizations with visualizations of former configurations of the Théâtre de l’Athénée, Paris. These configurations corresponded to a series of renovations, enabling researchers to perceive realistic stage performances in foregone rooms. Simulations include the room, two actors moving on stage, and an audience. To achieve these simulations, archived architectural drawings were studied, providing various details of the different theater configurations from which the corresponding visual and room acoustic geometrical acoustics (GA) models were created. The GA model of the theater’s current state was calibrated to reference measurements. Subsequent modifications to the GA model allowed for reversing several renovations to arrive at the original 1896 configuration of the Athénée. Simulations across configurations accommodated the investigation of the impact of these renovations on acoustic conditions, such as reverberation and clarity. These observations can then be compared to historical information, such as theater critics of the time. The final resulting audio-visual simulations allow for 360° presentations at various positions in the theatre using commercial standard hardware.