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Archive for October, 2012

Philips Vari-Lite is the choice for the Royal Opera House Muscat

17th October, 2012

Oman – VARI-LITE luminaires are the fixture of choice for the knowledgeable lighting team at the Royal Opera House Muscat. The Royal Opera House Muscat, which is one of the Middle East’s most prestigious arts venues, has made a point of stocking a variety of VARI-LITE luminaires since it opened three years ago. These include VL3500 Wash and Spot plus VL1100 TS and AS luminaires. Head of lighting Donald Cox explains: “We are just about to go into our third season and VARI-LITE is still the most requested luminaire by far by our incoming lighting designers.” The Royal Opera House Muscat is a spectacular building, housing a number of venues, each of which embrace an arsenal of state of the art entertainment technology and equipment. However this opulent façade sometimes belies some challenging and harsh conditions. “Oman is primarily a desert country, and this can be challenging for a number of reasons,” Cox, who previously worked at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, explains. “The main issue is that there’s a lot of sand and dust in the air and we therefore need lighting fixtures that are robust, easy to clean and reliable. “In addition we haven’t got the engineering and servicing resources that we’d have in Europe. We chose VARI-LITE because they rarely go wrong and they’re pretty easy to maintain. In addition, we do quite a few large-scale outdoor events. Dealing with the sand, dust and heat during the day and with the humidity at night, it takes a toll on any technical equipment with moving parts.” Cox goes on to say that the VARI-LITE luminaires have become the lighting workhorses in these sometime adverse conditions, providing a flexible and feature-rich rig. The Royal Opera House Muscat represents the pinnacle of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said’s cultural vision for Oman. Cox’s admiration for his working environment is clear: “It’s more of a palace than an opera house,” he enthuses. “When you walk around the front of house and you see the decoration, you can’t imagine building something like this in this century anywhere else – it’s a jewel.” The venue attracts companies from all over the globe; last season the program included full-scale operas such as Carmen and Turandot, as well as performances by operatic greats Jessye Norman and Roberto Alagna. During the opening season, Carmen was lit by the largest VARI-LITE rig yet. Last season the venue hosted thirty-four separate companies, this season it will welcome fifty-two in nine months. “The VL3500 Spot fixtures are ideal for opera, they’re very quiet, yet deliver an excellent punch,” says Cox. “The VL3500 Spot, VL1100TS and AS’ are engineered to offer smoothness and quietness while the VL3500 Spot and the VL1100 offer a four-blade shutter for extra precision. The VL3500 Wash allows for both Fresnel and Buxom options and feature internal zoomable beam optics, plus the exclusive VARI*BRITE mode, enabling intense beams of light from any zoom position.” It’s clear that high quality and high specification are paramount here, and VARI-LITE is an essential part of that offering. “His Majesty expects the best quality technically as well as artistically, says Cox. The shows are often extremely ambitious but when the show goes up, it can make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.” David March, director of European Sales for Philips Vari-Lite, concludes: “The Royal Opera House Muscat is equipped with some of the finest lighting equipment on the theatrical market.  Therefore, we are delighted and honored that Donald has settled on Vari-Lite Luminaires to meet both the highly demanding creative and technical requirements, in this unique and stunning venue.” As a leading designer and manufacturer of premiere automated lighting systems, Philips Vari-Lite provides equipment and services to the entertainment industry, serving such markets as concert touring, theatre, television, film, cruise lines, houses-of-worship, and corporate events. VARI-LITE automated lighting systems are available through a worldwide network of independent professional dealers.  www.vari-lite.com

Bristol’s historic Theatre Royal reopens following a £12million redevelopment drawing on Charcoalblue’s expertise

17th October, 2012

Bristol’s historic Theatre Royal reopens its newly refurbished auditorium following a £12million redevelopment which drew on the expertise of design consultancy Charcoalblue LLP. L-R: Saul Eagles – Business Development Manager for Stage Electrics; Jon Woodley Senior Theatre Consultant for Charcoalblue; Chris Brant, Technical Project Manager for Stage Electrics; Jason Barns, director of production and Tim Streader, head of lighting.

Avolites Media’s Groundbreaking Sapphire Media Infinity Wins Coveted Innovation Award at PLASA 2012

1st October, 2012

UK – The Avolites Media Sapphire Media Infinity video control system has been awarded the prestigious PLASA Award for Innovation.

During this year’s PLASA show at Earl’s Court in September, 47 products were judged, ‘live’ in front of show visitors, as an independent panel of expert judges toured the show floor, camera crew in tow, to view presentations about each product.

“Nominees are asked to demonstrate a new style of thinking, an improvement in technical practice, an aid to safety, energy-saving or sustainability benefits, or new technology, materials or techniques,” explains one of the Judges.

Designed and manufactured in the UK, Avolites Media’s Sapphire Media Infinity represents the next exciting step in Media Server technology, says Steve Warren, managing director of Avolites Media. “The powerful unit contains an incredible 8 Full HD outputs and conveniently, each DVI output has an accompanying preview output. The Ai Infinity also includes internal EDID management, LTC and MIDI Time-code, Genloc Input, Multi-Server Frame-sync and Master-Slave remote control which all goes to produce an incredibly flexible video controller.”

Seeing the Sapphire Media Infinity in action, the judges commented: “It’s the first integrated video control surface dedicated to video. It’s well thought through and well designed.”

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