Norwegian Theatre Advances To ETC Eos™

Following major technical refurbishments, Det Norske Teatret (literally, The Norwegian Theatre) in Oslo has specified ETC’s Eos theatre lighting console as well as ETC Sensor® and Sine Wave™ dimming and an ETC Unison® architectural control system.

Built in 1985, the theatre is the largest performing arts venue in Norway, with three multidisciplinary spaces offering a diverse program of both in-house and outside productions. Increases in the technical complexity of shows and the changing nature of lighting design demanded that the theatre replace its entire entertainment, house, and work lighting systems with a more flexible network.

ETC’s Norwegian distributor Bright AS was responsible for both the equipment supply and the installation. Project manager Geir Sire says, “The theatre was looking to replace all its existing dimmers, both in terms of quantity and wattage. In all it was close to 900 channels.”

Up to four productions may be rigged in the main house grid at any one time, so the venue has to be extremely flexible while maintaining a tight schedule. Lars Lyng, head of lighting for the venue adds: “Our rig contains large numbers of conventional fixtures—24 Vari-Lite moving lights—copious scrollers, and far too many video projectors, plus a couple of good old Pani BP6s. We also have LEDs, fluorescents, a couple of large HMIs, and some homemade stuff! Until recently we were trying very hard to run all of this through an almost obsolete older control desk.”

One of the biggest challenges that Det Norske Teatret faces is the ever-changing demands of today’s lighting designers and the increasing technical sophistication of the productions. Sire explains, “The Eos is designed to cope with theatre lighting both today and in the future, easily handling the numerous parameters required by modern theatre shows. Nevertheless, it’s just as important to have a system that deals with communication to video and projection using the many timecodes and protocols available.”

The theatre’s technical department spent over a year and a half looking for a suitable replacement for their existing desk. They wanted to make good use of established knowledge and also wanted the very best on the market. Eos will enable in-house board operators to handle the increasing amount of information more efficiently by ensuring complex programming is faster and more reliable.

“Our old desks were dying in our hands,” says chief electrician Trygve Ildahl. “And we could not find the ultimate replacement. We require a high level of continuity, so we don’t want to replace desks too often. We looked everywhere until one of our local distributors set us up with ETC’s Eos product manager Anne Valentino last year. After that meeting we knew for definite that the Eos was what we wanted.”

Lyng enthuses, “We particularly like the direct access touchscreens, the tracking, and command-line. Plus it’s relatively easy to adapt from our previous console history. We’re also looking forward very much to working with the effect section.”

Bright recommended the theatre change the house, blue, and worklight dimmers, as well as relay control, over to a Unison dimmer rack. Because local fire regulations demand dimmer systems be turned off at night, a Unison control system, with LCD panels and button stations were added. All the lights in and around the main stage are connected to Unison, although the Eos can override the system if required.

“The error reporting from Sensor and SineWave dimmers to DimStat software offers an easy way of reconfiguring and logging the system,” concludes Sire. “While networking allows for easy distribution of large numbers of DMX channels and the easy routing of the right channels to right places via ETC Gateway nodes. Eos will also give the theatre vastly improved control over the growing numbers of moving and automated fixtures accumulating in its rig.”

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