Just completed a full opera recording (Lucia) for radio broadcast and was reminded about how difficult it is. The following "constraints" were active. 1. Last minute request, speedy planning, rush to theatre after work etc. 2. No mics to be visible anywhere, except maybe at the top of the pit. 3. Singers all over the stage, including quite a bit from the stage rear. Multi-tracked it to 8 channels, 4 orchestral mics (pr 4003 beside Bonynge, pr MK21 at back of strings for harp and woods), 2 shotguns in side stage lighting boxes (KMR-81's) to pick up rear singing, and 2 Schoeps MK4's in narrow "ORTF", just poking up over lip of stage in the middle for the main action. I had great difficulty in separating out the huge orchestral spill into vocal mics, also the orch mic sound was close and dry, how does one get mics far enough away from the orchestra beats me. Anyway it turned out amazingly well in the end. Added lots of large hall/SIR to orch mics and left everything else dry for focus. I perused some of my opera DVD's, like Otello from the MET, 1996, with Domingo and Fleming, to get some guidance. At the curtain calls, one can see three shotguns, LCR just poking up out of the pit and next to each was a shorter mic with a windsock, but this DVD has great sound. Does anyone know what the MET does in detail? Long shot I know. The only thing I wasn't happy with was the instruments at the back of the orchestra sound really boxy. What are others experiences? I think many mics must be required ie. on each section to get a decent orchestral tone in these acoustically disastrous pits. After this project I was reminded how opera must be the ultimate recording challenge with the greatest potential for satisfaction as well, due to the theatre of it all, the many people involved and the often great scores and music, not to mention the singing. I think if I had to restrict recording to one genre, it would be opera for me.