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Welsh National Opera Spreads the Word with a New Surtitling System

Welsh National Opera Spreads the Word with a New Surtitling System
Welsh National Opera Spreads the Word with a New Surtitling System

UK A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd (AC-ET) has provided Welsh National Opera with a new surtitling system, utilising AlphaPIX2 by PROLIGHTS LED video panels.

Welsh National Opera (WNO) was founded 75 years ago by a group of people from South Wales as an opera company that represented Wales as the ‘Land of Song’. With over 120 performances a year, the company now tours across Wales, England and internationally, with the aim to open up the world of opera to everyone. A key part of this is with the use of surtitles.

Ian Jones, head of lighting and sound for WNO explained: “Surtitling has become a very important part of an opera performance. It provides an easy way for the audience to follow the libretto whilst enjoying the music and dramatic performance.”

Ian was looking to upgrade the existing surtitling system; and after speaking with Chris Beardwell, technical sales executive in AC-ET's specialist video sales division, he chose to invest in AlphaPIX2 LED Panels controlled by Novastar MCTRL660 processors. This consisted of two main screens, made up of six side-by-side AlphaPIX2 LED Panels each, one surtitling in English, and the other in Welsh.

Ian commented: “A number of other opera companies such as Glyndebourne and Scottish National Opera use AlphaPIX2, so it made sense to have the same type of system, especially when it comes to supporting each other.”

In addition to the main screens, Ian required two smaller 'repeater' screens. For these Chris created bespoke panels in a custom metal housing that was 1m by 250mm, with a 5mm channel for a Perspex sheet to protect the LEDs.

The repeater screens needed to have a higher resolution display as the screens would be mounted closer to the audience. Having a 2.9mm pixel pitch screen and smaller text has meant the end display looks legible to the audiences.”

AC-ET provided WNO with all of the LED Panels, the custom metalwork, Tourflex Cabling Data and Power cables, and Novastar processors.

Ian concluded: “Working with Chris and AC-ET was once again a pleasure. Over the years we have made some large purchases from A.C. and this time they provided the knowhow on the screens.”

The extensive PROLIGHTS lighting and video solutions range is available in the UK from A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd., and in Eire from A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ireland.

26th March 2019

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