Development and installation of a new ADUNAS stage management system and modernisation of the EES and PA systems in the Hanover State Opera

The object
The Lower Saxony State Theater is one of the largest multi-genre theaters  in the entire German-speaking area. Opera and ballet performances take place in the opera house whereas three venues are available for drama stagings: the theater, the Cumberlandsche Galerie, and the Ballhof. The Ballhof hosts Young Opera performances as well. The Hanover Opera House as a venue for opera, ballet, and concert with an auditorium of 1,200 seats needed a completely new stage management system specifically tailored to the various performance requirements. The resident orchestra goes by the name of Lower Saxony Hanover State Orchestra. The repertoire for the 2016/17 theater season includes six new productions, among them Puccini's "Manon Lescaut", Smetana's "The Bartered Bride", Henze's "The English Cat" and a first performance of "Lot" by Giorgio Battistelli. The theater team is committed to ensuring that visitors are presented the world of the opera with all its facets at the highest standards of artistry.

The job
Technical director Hanno Hüppe, technical manager of the opera Ian Harrison and Bernhard Helmdorf, manager of the audio department as the staff responsible for any matters of engineering in the Hanover Opera, ordered Ralf Giese of the AMT Ingenieursgesellschaft to prepare a specification of the jobs needing expert planning and to organise the public invitation to tender. The order involved custom development and installation of a new stage management console taking potential future requirements into account, and modernisation of the stage management system including the intercom and the electro-acoustic emergency system (EES).

Regarding the intercom system, continued utilization of parts of the existing cable network was allowed, but new amplifiers would have to be installed along with suitable control equipment serving the network as a whole, for instance to enable individual addresses to be assigned to the calls. Owing to the very specific system solution with its innovative character proposed by ASC, we actually came out on top of our competitors. The concept based on ASC cooperating with ADUNAS, the confidence placed in the underlying Beckhoff architecture as well as the extremely high flexibility of the system allowing for manifold extensions thanks to the software used, thoroughly convinced not only the persons in charge but also the stage managers involved when ASC presented its plans for the project.

The solution

To ensure that the system solution would in fact represent a perfect answer to stage requirements and applications, ASC involved the stage managers in the planning work from the start and, before deciding on the final design, presented a full-scale mock-up of the console to discuss the functions and the way requirements could be implemented in the best possible fashion directly with the team.  What had priority for ASC over everything else was to ensure that the performance spectrum of the new console would allow for any of the stage managers' activities to be available with the utmost convenience without exception, in addition of course to the many other functions provided. Features include: adjustment options to adapt to various seat heights, variable arrangement of the displays, customised labelling and programming of the LCD keypads for scene automation and control, integration of the intercom system and the electro-acoustic emergency system (EES), light signal control, and excellent operating convenience ensured by the personalised user interface.

The client-server architecture of the PLC-based ADUNAS media control system simplifies the application options in the infrastructure the new stage management console provides.  The system integrates a top quality HD SDI video system with central video matrix – the stage management console permits direct access to the high-definition video signals of the professional PFS cameras which low-latency LCD monitors suitable for broadcasting visualise as full-screen output or in the quad split mode. In the Hanover Opera House, latency-free real-time video transmission was a point receiving particular attention. The intercom system is a full-duplex wireless type and involves an intercom matrix and a digital party line. ASC carefully checked the existing cable structure of the old intercom system and ran tests to determine to what extent it was fit for use with the new intercom system, and supplemented some of the equipment with modern components. Technical considerations led to integrating the electro-acoustic emergency system (EES) into the overall configuration supported by the Dante™ interfacing between the ADUNAS console, the intercom system and the loudspeakers. This also facilitates flexible management of signal distribution in special cases of acoustic supply as for instance in the foyer. For the new EES a completely new cable infrastructure had to be provided to ensure that the current technical standards would be met.

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  • Oper-Hannover_Slider-I_01.jpg

    Hanover State Opera

    The late classicist-style Opera House at Opernplatz 1 in Hanover is the venue for opera, ballet and concert performances.

  • Oper-Hannover_Slider-II_01.jpg

    Hanover State Opera

    The auditorium of the Lower Saxony State Theater has 1.200 seats. The theater team does everything to offer visitors all facets of the opera world at the highest level of artistry. It takes state-of-the-art media equipment to make this possible. 

  • Oper-Hannover_Slider-III_01.jpg

    Hanover State Opera

    For the team of stage managers as the main performance coordinators ASC set up a completely new stage management system featuring PLC-based ADUNAS media control. Owing to the use of a client-server software all of the applications are considerably simplified.

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