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Opéra Garnier upgrades to ETC Eos
France – In 2017, one of the most prestigious venues in France, the Opéra Garnier in Paris, updated its lighting consoles to a selection of ETC Eos desks. The Eos consoles were unanimously chosen by Jacques Giovanangeli, the head of the lighting department, and his team of 42 lighting professionals.
The previous console lacked the technological capabilities required for modern moving lights, and needed replacing to keep up with the venue’s demands. Fully aware of this, Jacques and his team began research to identify the best option and narrowed the search down to three potential consoles and conducted demos of each. They compared the different interfaces by paying attention to the ergonomics of programming a show, the ease of use of moving lights, and the precision of colour control.
The switch to an ETC Eos system was strongly encouraged by the whole technical team. The design quality, adaptability to the opera, and colour tools made the Eos family stand out. ''The reason for this choice was based on more than just the quality of the product,'' notes Giovanangeli. ''I frequently travel to operas and theatres in France and abroad. I found Eos consoles in many places, such as the Bolshoi in Moscow, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Staatsoper in Vienna and many other prestigious places like The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in London and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The combination of the technical endorsement from my team and the observations I made on each journey led to us choosing Eos.”
''Co-productions continue to increase between the major opera houses and many lighting engineers work mainly on Eos consoles. With Eos, we can anticipate what’s coming by sharing files,” comments Giovanangeli.
In total, four Eos family consoles joined the Palais Garnier with three Eos Ti desks, two in the control room and one in the workshop. A Gio @5 is also on stage if an engineer would like to operate lighting from the stage. The whole system communicates in ETCNet3 (ACN) and the main console controls all the fixtures over sACN. To complete the installation, two RVIs (Remote Video Interface) are also available from the stage.
This RVI system enables remote viewing of the console screens and local programming of the Eos system. This allows the opera house to offer the production manager a tool to view the desk’s displays from the stage making interactions with the lighting technicians easier.
Approved in early 2017, the integration of the consoles in the Opéra had to wait for the summer break. With the renovation of the control room also taking place in late August and early September, the technicians had to work quickly to transition the consoles. Giovanangeli says: “The installation of the consoles was completed in record time and the team managed to release the first show, which was a large production, without any pitfalls.”
Jérôme Denime, one of the two opera lighting team leaders, adds: “We had to learn this new work environment and develop new habits. For example, previously we had to set all the spotlight parameters in each cue. Now, as Eos works with 'tracking' logic, the parameters follow from one cue to another. There is no need to edit them entirely since they track from the previous position. It is much easier, but we had to get used to checking the states so that there aren’t any mistakes. The interface is very useful for tracking the state of the fixtures. In the end, the switch has saved us time overall. We are already completely comfortable with the system and we are still discovering new functions, especially as updates come out.”
A training program made the transition smooth for the entire lighting staff. The teams were able to get gradually accustomed to the new interface before putting on the first show and tackle the 860 dimmers with more than 100 moving lights.
In an effort to continuously improve training efforts, ETC France is currently revamping its training programme to serve its end users better. The new ETC subsidiary will improve the provision of trainings through its network of partners.
Over the past few months, many French venues have also chosen Eos consoles, such as the Opéra de Bordeaux (Dushow installation) and the Opéra de Versailles. ETC offers consoles appropriate for the theatre market with the Eos system and the touring market with the High End Systems Hog 4 range. With ETC France, these internationally renowned consoles will have even better support throughout France.
photos: Jonathan Grimaux
13th March 2019
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