(NEW CASTLE, DE) -- Video equipment rental company Pete’s Big TVs provided Florida’s Palm Beach Opera and its scenic designer with their first LED video wall experience. It was also the world premiere of the opera, Enemies, A Love Story, held Feb. 20-22 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.
The production used 259 GTek 15mm tiles to create a 60 ft wide x by 12 ft high video wall. The content included scenic video clips and opera text - though the show was sung in English.
Based on the book by Isaac Bashevis Singer, the opera is described as a light-hearted but dark comedy about a Holocaust survivor in 1948 post World War II. The character presumes his wife is dead, moves to New York City where he re-marries and takes a mistress, only to have his first wife show up one day on his doorstep.
New York-based scenic designer Allen Moyer said it was the first time an LED video wall was used at the Palm Beach Opera. Though he has used video projections in his career designing for Broadway, dance, theatre and opera, it was also his first time using an LED screen.
“From the early part of the process of designing the scenery, a large projection surface was included, hanging over three realistically sized apartment units,” said Moyer. “The apartments represented the major locations of the opera and were used individually on the stage or eventually all at the same time as events in the plot became more complicated.”
The screen was always a long and narrow proportion, which he favors. “It gives us an almost instant abstraction with the images and feels more stylish than a video version of a back drop. I was keen on exploring the LED version rather than a standard front projection because I wanted it to be able to disappear in case we didn't want to use video all of the time.”
As it turned out, there was always an image on the screen but it was good to have the flexibility because the tech period was limited and the opera contained 25 scenes. Moyer said, “It seemed that the LED would simply be easier and take less time than projectors. Also, the theater did not have good positions available to hang the projectors even if we had gone that route. The LED screen was so beautifully crisp and we never had to worry about the level of stage light washing the images out.”
Moyer worked with lighting designer Aaron Black and content creator Greg Emetaz. “The content was initially location based and was meant to ground us and help the audience know where we were in the story,” Moyer explained. “Then there were moments that the images evolved into more psychological and emotional reactions to the sung text.”
“The video work was essential to help us with all of the transitions since there were so many scenes,” he said. “I thought it was very successful.”
Photo: Palm Beach Opera
About Pete’s Big TVs:
Pete's Big TVs, a Washington, DC-based video staging and rental services company, has been serving the special event, corporate, touring and television markets across the United States and around the world for more than 25 years. Pete’s Big TVs takes pride in providing clients with cutting edge technology, and leads the industry in introducing new video technologies to the markets it serves. Pete's Big TVs offers turnkey video services including LED screens, projectors, monitors, media servers, full video production and crew.