The Metropolitan Opera

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(Photo: Ken Howard)

The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, home to the Metropolitan Opera, has recently installed 70 Elation Professional Artiste Monet™ LED profile moving head luminaires with Donald Holder the first to use the new rig of award-winning lights on Porgy and Bess. Lighting supply was by 4Wall Entertainment.

As one of the world’s premiere opera companies, the Metropolitan Opera demands exacting specifications with stage facilities that continue to be updated technically. The lighting purchase was a massive retrofit project that the Met undertook after a several year, multi-brand evaluation. It is the first time in the Met’s 100+ years of existence that they have moved to a repertory lighting package as previously productions were rented packages with a seasonal house package and additions for each production as needed. With the new repertory plot, the Met has made a long-term commitment to the new technology.

The Met’s resident lighting designer, John Froelich, was instrumental in choosing the Artiste Monet and cited three main reasons for its choice. “The output of the LED source was very bright,” he said, noting that in testing it was the brightest fixture available. Secondly, “The native color of the LED engine was the most appealing to me. Most LED profiles that were tested had a slight green bias that was really hard to manage quickly from a creative standpoint. In a large, fast-paced repertory environment like ours it was such a great thing to find a source that was so artistically appealing.” 

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Lastly, the designer says the focus aspect of the Artiste Monet was the best of the units under consideration. “When dealing with LED sources in moving lights all manufacturers have to deal with the reality that multiple tiny sources rather than a single center engine of light, such as an arc source lamp, causes chromatic aberration to any shaping object in the lens train. In our testing, the Artiste Monet lens system had the advantage in minimizing this issue.”

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“The SpectraColor system opens up a lot of possibilities from a creative standpoint,” Froelich states. “The ability to mix to super saturated colors without having to revert to the use of color chips is really advantageous. For example, I can shift from a realistic lighting state in one cue and then fade to really saturated theatrical state to emphasize a musical moment, mood or event onstage with the same lighting equipment. This is quite helpful in our repertory environment as we have more wide-ranging access to dramatic shifts without having to hang additional lighting equipment.”

The Monet fixtures, along with a complement of 220 Elation Chorus Line ST™ LED battens, have replaced the entire overhead lighting rig at the Met. The Chorus Line luminaires were custom made for the venue with RGBA LEDs for a broader color spectrum.

  • Resident Lighting Designer: John Froelich
  • Project Manager: Jeff Mace 
  • Master Electrician: Matt Rubin 
  • Key Account Manager, 4Wall Entertainment: Al Ridella

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