Welsh National Opera Embraces Projection Technology for New Touring Production
Posted by: Knifedge Ltd
Date added: Wed 13 Jun 2012
Welsh National Opera (WNO) raised the curtain on a new touring production of La bohème on the 1st of June, featuring projection design by Knifedge with a state of the art projection rig the creative agency has helped specify for the opera company.
Knifedge projection designer, Nina Dunn, and visual engineer, Sam Hunt, have spent the past year consulting with WNO to devise and commission the new projection system. The brief made it clear that the new system would need to be purchased on a finite investment budget, be suitable for touring shows and be, as far as possible, future-proofed.
Whilst advising on the new rig, Dunn has also been working with La bohème director, Annabel Arden, and designer, Stephen Brimson-Lewis to design projections for Puccini's spectacular opera, which will be the first production to showcase the system.
Billed as “the greatest love story ever sung” and set in Edwardian Paris, this production of La bohème demands sensitive projection designs that support the narrative and embellish the elegant simplicity of the set. Dunn worked closely with lighting designer, Tim Mitchell, during technical rehearsals to ensure that the projections work with the performance to enhance the audience experience.
From a technical perspective the new rig consists of 3 Panasonic PT-DW730 7,000 Lumen projectors with a range of lenses and a Catalyst rack with built-in backup system. Knifedge has also provided training, alongside chosen suppliers SSS and SNP, to ensure that the lighting crew will be able to use the system with confidence both at their home at Wales Millennium Centre as well as on an 8 week tour.
“This puts WNO at the forefront of a new flourishing era of digitally aided production design. As an agency, our focus is always to enhance a production, not to fragment it with projections that create a barrier between narratives, lighting and set design," says Dunn.
“The new versatile projection system means that WNO can work with video projections in mind from the outset of a project without adding equipment costs to the touring production budget. This alongside the training makes it feel like we’re handing the company a digital paintbrush, which can be used to add a whole new dimension to the already well-conceived and highly acclaimed productions.”
Richard Norton, WNO Production Manager, says, “Working with Nina Dunn to source equipment and execute their design has been a smooth and hassle free process. Adding another layer of technology to our new production of La bohème could have made the Stage Rehearsals very stressful however Nina and Sam were self contained and worked around all the other Technical Departments. I think that we are all proud of what has been achieved. Collaboration has been the key. The results are outstanding.”
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