The world-renowned Israeli Opera House in Tel Aviv has invested in 27 x Robe ESPRITE moving lights – the first Robe products in the house – as part of a drive to invest in more LED lighting fixtures and future-based technologies, explained head of lighting Eyal Levi.
The Opera House runs an average of 6 or 7 major productions per season, a mix of new and revivals, working with a series of leading international lighting designers and lighting directors, all known for their intricate work, critical eyes, and diligence. Opera is one of the most demanding performance genres to light.
The new investment had been on the cards for some time, and Eyal arranged various tests and shootouts with a range of different products, from which ESPRITE was chosen as “the best-performing fixture to meet all our needs.”
Assisting in making this choice was the venue’s lighting department, comprising three programmers, two chief LX and 10 technicians, plus some key consultant LDs.
There were four main criteria on which the luminaires were judged, the first being a good dimming system and the second being accurate shutters which were equally as important.
Colour mixing was also critical. Eyal elucidates that this tends to be a subjective category with different LDs having different preferences and opinions, however the ESPRITE scored consistently well with all their LD consultants who were additionally impressed with the range of tuneable whites and the excellent flesh tones produced by the high quality, high CRI output.
Last but not least … was silent running!
He adds that the older and original discharge light source moving lights in the house which the ESPRITES were replacing, sounded “like a bunch of tractors” by comparison! This was no disrespect to the manufacturer (not Robe), but it illustrated very clearly and audibly … just how far moving light and LED technology had advanced the goalposts in 10 years!
Although they had been using those previous lights for many years, it wasn’t until they actually switched to the new LED fixtures that they appreciated the full impact of reducing the ambient noise emissions.
Technical support was another crucial consideration when picking the brand, and Robe’s distributor, Danor Group Ltd, has built an excellent reputation generally and already enjoyed a good working relationship with the Opera House.
Talking generally, Eyal now considers Robe as “among the leading” moving light manufacturers globally, adding that at the Opera they prefer to work with a smaller and more streamlined number of brands for operational efficiency.
Apart from all of that, Eyal also reckons the price was “great value.”
Danor’s Erez Hadar commented, “It’s really a great honour for us to get the ESPRITES into the Opera House and to see them work so well for such a variety of different lighting designers. Robe has focussed on optimising fixtures like ESPRITE for this exacting and challenging environment, and now all that hard work is now paying off.”
The first post-Covid season at the opera and for the new ESPRITES was in 2021-22 and everyone was delighted with the results.
The lights are rigged in the overhead rig, mainly above the stage of the 1600 capacity venue, and are controlled via a grandMA3 console which is also new.
Eighty per cent of their incoming productions will have their own LD as part of the director’s creative team, and the other 20% are either lit by themselves in-house, or an LD is hired by the Opera for the project.
Photo Credit: Yossi Zwecker
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