Finland - International theatre consultancy practice, Theatreplan, has recently completed a major reseating project for the Finnish National Opera House in Helsinki. The original seats were installed in 1993 when the opera building was completed. After meetings with the Opera and inspection of the auditorium, Theatreplan's Neil Morton recommended a full reseating rather than refurbishment.

The ergonomics of the original seat were designed for a relaxed seating position with a seat height lower than normal for theatre seats. This resulted in the sightlines from the seats at the front of each of the three tiers being less than ideal. Furthermore, after more than two decades' service many of the seats were beginning to show signs of wear and tear; the foam on many of seat pans had collapsed and several of the components were loose including the frames so that the seats were no lon

South Africa - A 'Fall Arrest & Basic Rescue' course will be hosted at DWR Distribution from 22-24 February 2016. This will be of interest to riggers and technicians, tower climbers, workers on elevated platforms and site managers - any person who may share in conducting a possible rescue, the company says.

The three day course has been approved by SETA, SAQA, DOL, Eskom, Vodacom, Cell C, MTN, MSN, Huawei Technologies Africa, ZTE, Anglo Coal & Platinum and Exxaro. Delegates who pass this course will receive a certificate valid for three years.

Delegate requirements include: A certified copy of ID document; Valid Medical Certificate stating fitness for work at height (valid for at least 3 months from training date); Learners must be proficient in English Reading and writing, up to the level of Grade 10; Delegates are welcome to bring their own harnesses and rigging gear.

T

Italy - Popular Italian comedian Angelo Pintus was joined on stage by Clay Paky Sharpys for his recent tour. The show featured Pintus's simple, natural humour, his musical skills and his talent as an impersonator. Last year's show at the Mediolanum Forum marked the beginning of a period of technical cooperation between Leader Sound and Angelo Pintus's production team. Lighting designer Gianluca Brunelli put together a lighting rig for the over 60 tour dates in various theatres and for the show at the Forum.

Brunelli decided to put a few Sharpy units on the stage floor: "They were placed on the set as side-lighting in fixed positions for much of the show, and remained motionless until the scenes where Pintus describes changes in the situation. These are usually comical situations."

The outdoor tour dates, in public squares, meant it was necessary to use reliable, po

UK - As 2015 drew to a close, it was the turn of The Old Vic in London's Lambeth to host the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards. This prestigious event, presented in partnership with the West End restaurant, The Ivy, is an opportunity for the theatre community to recognise and applaud the best of the year's productions and performances. Steering the ceremony was Rob Brydon just a month after starring in the theatre's first production under its new director Matthew Warchus. He was ably assisted by co-hosts Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen along with the Evening Standard's owner, Evgeny Lebedev.

Production for the event was arranged by Mr Beautiful City and technical director, Jaie Genadt who called in Britannia Row Productions to handle the complex audio requirements for the show. Brit Row's Tom Brown was client liaison manager: "There were a number of factor

UK - Theatre designer Johanna Town made the most of Robe's new DL4S Profile fixture when lighting Pine at the Hampstead Theatre in London.

The setting for Jacqui Honess-Martin's new festive tragi-comedy is a Christmas tree retailer and the action spans a month over December from early morning to midnight. The witty and incisive narrative incites laughter and tears as a group of 20-somethings from mixed backgrounds and experiences sell Christmas trees from a street outlet ... along the way singing all those gloriously clichéd Christmas songs you love ... and hate!!!

Hampstead Theatre is a small but highly acclaimed studio venue with a limited budget, so Jo explored some options for additional lighting, and Robe was able to help out with the two DL4S Profiles.

She was initially slightly unsure of putting a fully spec'd moving light into a grid with only 3m of

UK - Due to client demand, Capital Sound has added a J-Series d&b system to it loudspeaker inventory. Coming hot on the heels of its investment in Outline's GTO line array, this investment adds a fourth brand to Capital's offering and provides an extra dimension to its concert touring packages.

The J-Series systems are complimented by D80 amplification and the company's new B-Series subs.

"Historically, we have had a strong presence in the concert touring market and we always want to make sure we have a complete range of up-to-date products to cater for current day demands," says Capital's general manager, Paul Timmins. "The d&b system is both versatile and incredibly rider friendly, which ensures we continue to keep pace with the requirements of larger-scale tours.

"The new B22 subs are one of three d&b sub options purchased and, as d&b has released a

Spain - The Roland O.H.R.C.A M-5000 and M-5000C live digital mixing consoles were the consoles of choice for the public New Year's Eve event in Barcelona, configured in a full R.E.A.C (Roland Ethernet Audio Communication) setup. The Roland consoles were specified by Focus for a system that required over 80 inputs FOH and monitor, and a PA including 12 delay towers. Focus - one of the largest production companies in Barcelona - were in charge of the sound, light and video for the outdoor party and were supported by Roland ProAV product manager Nico Suárez.

The Barcelona New Year's Eve celebrations are attended by around 95,000 people and broadcast live to over 1 million others on Spanish television. The massive celebration spreads from the Montjuic mountains to the Espanya square in the city, with music and performance all along the Maria Cristina Avenue.

A full Roland setup

USA - The sold-out Madness Fall Tour by Canadian singer, songwriter and record producer, The Weeknd, in support of his third studio album, Beauty Behind the Madness, was a spectacular production, with set and lighting design by LeRoy Bennett of Seven Design Works. It incorporated over 650 lighting fixtures from Ayrton - including 'every available IntelliPix-R fixture on the planet' - to help realise a design concept that delivered a multiplicity of looks from the subtly atmospheric to a totally engulfing spectacle.

The music of Abel Tesfaye, the musician known as The Weeknd, is very dark and cinematic. Bennett reflected this by creating a mutable set with lots of transparency, depth and changing personalities.

Ayrton fixtures featured heavily in its creation with a grid of 270 MagicPanel 602 fixtures forming a back wall that hid two rows of washlights, and which itsel

UK - Blinding Light, the corporate and event lighting specialist has announced that following the company's success and significant growth in 2015, it has now completed a move to new larger premises.

Consisting of over 20,000sq.ft, the new facility has warehouse space to provide ample storage to support the company's expanded inventory and growth for the future. There will also be dedicated prep & pre-production spaces for incoming crews to oversee and prepare larger shows prior to despatch to site, plus a dedicated space to allow clients to hold production meetings.

The new facility is set within a large secure compound with several loading bays and storage for multiple trucks. The expansion will also result in further growth of the Blinding Light team, with a number of new warehouse technicians coming on board to support the additional workload. The new site is well locate

UK - One of world's largest temporary power generation companies was recently (25 January 2016) fined a total of £36,000 for failing to ensure that workers were not exposed to risk. The company, Aggreko PLC, appeared before Westminster Magistrates' Court to plead guilty to two charges, one under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the other under the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. They also agreed to pay the Royal Borough's costs of £90,000.

The charges followed an electrical incident where a man suffered electrical burns during the fitting out of the Earl's Court Exhibition Centre in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games. Aggreko PLC had been appointed as the main contractor to provide a temporary electricity supply to the Exhibition Centre which was to host the Olympic volleyball tournament.

In order to carry out this work the company engaged a numb

World - Showlight (Florence, Italy, 20-23 May 2017) is now inviting lighting designers and directors, associates, programmers, scenographers, equipment manufacturers and others to submit their ideas for conference papers for the 2017 programme. Now is your chance to be part of this prestigious event!

The Showlight Quadrennial is one of the few international events organised specifically for lighting professionals by lighting professionals across the performance, television, film, architectural and event worlds. Held every four years, Showlight 2017 takes place in Florence and celebrates the 10th presentation of this eagerly-awaited lighting colloquium.

Showlight has made a special name for itself by bringing together many of the most famous names in lighting. Delegates are given the opportunity to be part of the larger international lighting community, as those with establis

UK - Maidstone-based Phonophobia Productions has supplied 16 channels of the new AKG DMS800 reference digital mic systems plus a Soundcraft Si Expression 2 digital console to Rochester based Ground:zero Productions.

Supplied to Phonophobia by Harman UK/ROI distributor Sound TechnologyLtd, the system was sold to Ground:zero Productions to accommodate an increased demand for high end production equipment in their expanding rental stocks.

Ground:zero is an event production company specializing in the production of conferences, product launches, congresses, meetings and awards shows to the corporate market nationally and internationally. The company combines creative flair with technical expertise that includes video production, hybrid events and interactive audience engagement.

Phonophobia's MD, Mark Chant is no stranger to both AKG and Soundcraft. With a host of both AKG an

USA - The Rialto Center for the Arts, Atlanta, has seen its share of inspired performances since it opened its doors in 1916, but it's doubtful that anything in the 100-year history of this legendary venue ever surpassed the raw energy level at the BMI Trailblazers Awards. Sponsored by the largest music rights organization in the US, the invitation-only event honoured the outstanding achievers in gospel music.

The brightest stars in the gospel genre were there, including Grammy-winning sibling acts, BeBe & CeCe Winans and Mary Mary; so too were R&B stars. Together, they rocked the house during the ceremonies with full-throated renditions of contemporary and classic songs, visually reflected in all their roaring glory by dynamic displays on ChauvetProfessional video panels.

"The panels were a big part of what we did to support the stage energy and frame the action for th

Germany - Rental company HELi Showequipment of Mainz has recently made a purchase of Elation Professional ACL Series narrow-beam LED effect lights. HELI Showequipment has acquired 150 of Elation's new ACL 360i single-beam moving effects as well as a supply of Elation's ACL 360 Bar colour-changing bar luminaires with continuous rotation.

"Elation is an excellent company and the ACL 360i and the ACL 360 Bar fixtures are reflective of that," stated Uwe Heinrich, CEO at HELi Showequipment, which also stocks Elation's Pixel Bar luminaires in its inventory. "The accuracy and precision of the ACL fixtures is great and the price to performance ratio is very favorable. The fixtures are an excellent addition to our dry hire stock and will be used on TV shows, tours and especially music festivals."

HELi Showequipment operates primarily as a dry hire company for vide

Ireland - When Dublin based Lightsource were looking to replace their existing fleet of LED Pars, which were nearing end of life and no longer supported, owner Billy Mahedy's attention turned last year to SGM's P-5. "This solved all the problems, giving us everything we wanted and more," he said. "And because we are expanding a lot more into the outdoor market the versatility of an IP65-rated fixture was perfect."

And so when SGM launched the smaller P-2 wash light, in a similar low profile chassis but this time weighing just 6.1 kilos he knew it would extend the options further for the amount of corporate work the company in increasingly undertaking. He therefore placed an initial order for 36 luminaires with Ian Kirby at SGM UK, promising that this would be just the start.

"The P-5 and P-2 are giving us more of a summer market which we didn't have

Italy - Vacanze Romane (Roman Holiday) is back, 12 years after its debut at the Teatro Sistina in Rome. The opening of the 2015-2016 theatre season was entrusted to the notes of this musical, lit by Clay Paky. It was written by Armando Trovajoli and Pietro Garinei, and again starred Serena Autieri and Paolo Conticini. The play is a musical take on post-WWII Rome, inspired by the film of the same name by William Wyler, with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.

Lighting designer Francesco Adinolfi has already taken part in a theatrical project starring Serena Autieri: he was involved in La sciantosa, directed by Gino Landi, last year.

After reading this year's script, Francesco Adinolfi attended the rehearsals of the musical. What inspired your lighting design and gave you your ideas?

"Together with Oscar winner Gianni Quaranta, I studied the works and lighti

South Africa - DWR is hosting the Robe Roadshow. Josef Valchar and Harry von den Stemmen from Robe and DWR's Duncan and Bruce Riley, Robert Izzett and Nick Britz will visit Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

New products on show will include the Robe Square, BMFL WashBeam, Viva, Robin DL7S, DL4S, Robe Strobe, Robin 1000 LEDBeam and Robin CycBar.

The dates are: Monday 8 February, Johannesburg; Wednesday, 10 February, Durban; Friday 12 February, Cape Town.

(Jim Evans)

USA - Home to the Washburn University Ichabods men's and women's basketball teams, and women's volleyball team, Lee Arena is a 4150-seat indoor sports venue that draws some of the largest crowds in NCAA Division II. Lee Arena was the first in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association to have a video scoreboard and a digital scorer's table and, in 2015, it received a new, high-performance audio system.

Sound Products, Inc. of Topeka, KS provided the new audio system. The company had upgraded Lee Arena's audio in 2001 and the university told them, "Now, we'd like you to take us up to the big time!" Lee Arena hosts graduations and other non-sporting events along with its basketball and volleyball games and it can be set up with a stage in the arena's centre or at end court. To support this wide variety of configurations, Sound Products' Monty Ehrlich chose a

Australia - Novatech Creative Event Technology have become the first Australian owners of the X4 Atom fixture from German Light Products (GLP).

"Sometimes you get that feeling, and you know that it's going to be a good, successful product," says Novatech's managing director, Leko Novakovic. "Novatech have purchased 48 units of X4 Atom, and four external power and control units. In addition to their creative potential, the X4 Atom's optics and colour output match the rest of our existing inventory of GLP fixtures."

Novatech's X4 Atom rig has already had its first successful outing, used to add a variety of looks to the Herbalife 2016 Spectacular in Adelaide. "We ran three groups of 12 X4 Atoms along some rear, centre and angled truss used for video screens," relates Leko. "It was a big room, but they were more than competitive in terms of ou

Israel - Gil Teichman is one of the most flamboyant figures on the Israeli lighting design and production scene He is also a regular investor in Robe products.

His eponymously named company, Gil Teichman, purchased their first Robes some years ago, and in fact he's known of Robe right since the start in the 1990s, when they were an OEM manufacturer. The first ever Gil Teichman purchases were of the ColorWash and ColorSpot 1200 series, around nine years ago, followed by the 700E AT series, all delivered through Robe's Israeli distributor, Danor Theatre & Studio Systems.

A strong relationship with Danor has maintained Gil Teichman as one of the distributor's largest customers for Robe, and the upgrade to the moving light stock started three years ago. This now includes some 24 x MMX Spots, 12 x LEDWash 1200s, 24 x LEDWash 600s, and was followed up in summer 2015 with the purch

UK - AFMG are to host UK EASE Training Level 1 at Sound Technology Ltd's training facilities in Letchworth Garden City on 24 - 26 May 2016.

This three-day seminar covers an overview of EASE and the basics of room modelling and sound system design. The EASE database, mapping results and visualization functions will be discussed as well. An introduction is given into auralisation and post-processing of calculation results. Case studies are presented and interpreted.

The course runs from 9am - 5pm and is presented by experienced instructor Paul Malpas of Engineered Acoustic Designs.

Sound Technology Ltd is the UK distributor of Harman Professional brands with training facilities designed to showcase a wide range of installed and live sound solutions.

(Jim Evans)

China - Beijing Global Visual Culture Development Co. Ltd. (BVGCD) recently purchased a new Adamson sound reinforcement system, making them the latest company to join the Adamson network.

In total, the company added 48 E15 line array modules, 24 E219 subwoofers, 48 S10 line array modules and four S119 subwoofers to their inventory. The sale was directed by Adamson's distribution partner Real Music and the gear was immediately put to use at the Autohome concert at Beijing National Stadium for more than 10,000 people.

"We were interested in expanding our inventory and a friend recommended that we look into Adamson products," explains Li Ran, managing director at BGVCD "After we heard the demonstration we knew it was the system for us - it sounded terrific, was easy to use and looks great plus the bass is shocking. I am pleased to say that we now have the largest

UK - A new advert for the Android and iOS-compatible Huawei Watch features a projection mapped disused theatre space powered by Avolites Ai S4 servers.

Boomerang Television was commissioned to create the new watch commercial, featuring a dancer who moves in time to his own heartbeat, which is being monitored and displayed by the device. Dylan Wyn Davies, executive producer at Boomerang approached UK-based Rhodri Shaw, now director of Transition Video Ltd, to create the 3D visuals and projection mapping.

"Boomerang wanted 3D visuals that went in time with the music, accelerating and slowing down, representing the heartbeat BPM monitor feature on the watch," says Shaw. "I brought in Kaine Van Riel from Made Up Ltd to create custom 4k resolution content for the film."

The team decided to use an unfinished underground theatre in a secret location in centra

UK - Since 2011, Sam & Mark's Big Friday Wind-Up has been a highly rated programme in the all-important 5:30pm after-school slot on British children's entertainment channel CBBC. Presented by the popular duo Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes, the show is all about fun and games, giving children in the audience the opportunity to get back at their parents through various pranks.

However, when it comes to creating clean crisp looks on the set, this nationally aired programme is strictly serious, as evidenced by the sleek looking design created by LD Lee Allen that features 48 Chauvet Professional Nexus 4x4 LED panels supplied by Richard Martin Lighting.

For Allen, the decision to incorporate the Nexus panels into his design was beneficial for two key reasons. Firstly, the Nexus panels ensure that unique lighting looks can be created for the different parts of the show. Secondly

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