WNO’s Ainadamar at The Mayflower Southampton (photo: Danny Kaan)
UK - Welsh National Opera's head of lighting and sound, Ben Naylor, was delighted to take possession recently of an MDG ATMe haze generator with a digital theFAN unit, both housed conveniently in MDG's purpose-built Vertical Flight Case.
Naylor explained his choice of MDG and this combination of equipment which was supplied by Robe/MDG UK. “We have been looking for a better consistency of coverage of haze for a long time, as the hazers we’ve used in the past have looked patchy and generally produced more haze in the wings than on stage! The MDG ATMe with flight case and fan not only gives us fantastic haze coverage on stage, it is a safe and efficient way to tour the equipment.”
The Vertical Flight Case is a bespoke design with fitted compartments that hold an ATMe haze generator (or any of the Me1, Me2 or MAX 3000 fog generators), theFAN, two, 9kg (20lb) CO2 bottles, a 4L bottle of MDG Neutral fluid and a handy tool drawer - all in a plug-and-play unit of rugged construction that can be simply and safely used for transportation then rolled into position.
The ATMe, theFAN and Vertical Flight Case were purchased for WNO’s general inventory, rather than a specific production. “We do a lot of co-productions with other opera companies and we see MDG specified on many of the productions we work on. It’s also noticeable how, over the past five years, more and more lighting designers are asking for MDG products too.”
Naylor and his tech team have been very impressed with their neatly packaged and moveable new products, and with their ease of use on tour. “The ATMe and theFAN are very easy to use, and, being built into a single flight case, moving them from venue to venue is a dream. The maintenance is straight forward and having a spare gas bottle and all the spares in the flight case means we don’t have to worry about the gas running out, and its extra safe for touring.
“I can honestly say the ATMe is the best hazer we have ever used, in particular its consistency to produce and fill the space with smooth, even haze. It has surpassed our expectations and travelled well over this last tour. During this season the ATMe has gone from heavy, rock-style haze for our family concerts with lots of beams on show, to very little and subtle amounts of haze for our operas.”
Naylor concludes, “We continue to experiment with the product and where to position it in each venue, but we generally position it downstage in one of the wings and we’ve had no complaints in any of the venues we’ve toured to. It’s really working very well for us.”

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