HSL is supplying a complete stage lighting and sound system to the high profile 9-week Opera Holland Park season, together with site-wide lighting and electrics, power distribution and full public address and announcement audio.


The completely sold out event features 6 full scale productions which are performed in rep, two at a time with music by the London Symphonia. Opera Holland Park 2007 is being staged in theLondonpark’s new tensile structure arena which has increased the seating capacity by a quarter – bringing it up to 1028. The season is promoted by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.


The technical production is overseen and co-ordinated by the Council’s Operations Manager Mike Harth, working closely with his team of technical staff including chief LX Adam Bullock, deputy chief LX Jon Bowles and master carpenter Brendan McEvoy.


HSL has suppliedOperaHollandParkfor the last 5 seasons, a job jointly project managed for them bySean McGlonein the office and James Ewart on site. “They give us excellent service and continuity, plus a great deal” comments Harth.

HSL sends a full crew to site, including a qualified electrician for the get-in and build period.


The new canopy has brought a completely new trussing configuration to the venue, enabling them to have three straight FOH trusses and a substantial over-stage trussing grid measuring approximately 19 metres wide by 9 metres deep. This is a vast improvement over the previous set up and gives LDs loads more scope with lighting positions.


HSL supplied a new Litec Libra trussing system to make up the over-stage grid and the three FOH trusses. These structures are flown into position on motors.




They installed over 140 lighting fixtures which are being utilized across all the shows – 3 lighting designers were brought in, each to design two shows, and 5 set designers have been involved, all of whom have worked Opera Holland Park seasons before.


A variety of luminaires were supplied to the semi-open arena, including 750 Watt ETC Source Fours with different lenses, a selection of PARs and an array of Selecon Fresnels and PCs. These are spread all over the overhead grid, FOH trusses and on four boom arms flanking either side of stage. A number of set practicals have also been supplied including Encapsulyte dimmable fluorescents.


The stage fixtures are locked off on a fixed focus that has to be versatile enough to work for all productions – with the raked seating structure below, it’s not easy to reach them once the season is up-and-running.


The 12 moving lights are 8 Robe ColorWash 1200E ATs and 4 Robe ColorSpot 1200E ATs, their discharge light-sources having proved popular when juxtaposed against all the tungsten sources. They have been used in a variety of ways across the different productions, and for “L’Amore dei tre Re” they were the only lightsources used in the whole rig for Simon Corder’s contrasty, edgy, seat-gripping design.


The last two shows – Montemezzi’s “L’Amore dei tre Re” and Verdi’s popular “La Traviata” have proved the most challenging to stage explains Mike Harth. The ambitious set designs of both productions needing an all-day call to change them over.


The dimmers are Avolites ART racks, and the LD’s also have a spare 24 channels of dimming for practicals at their disposal. For FOH control, HSL supplied aStrand550 with a 520I for back up.


Around the site, there’s about 100 lights illuminating the trees, gardens and picnic areas, plus the entrances and foyers, toilets and pathways. Sixteen PixelPARs were used to highlight the foliage for the first time this year.





HSL also took care of the very straightforward audio requirements – amounting to some sound effects and a minimal amount of instrument mic’ing. They specified a mix of Community and Nexo speakers, installed across the auditorium trusses and grid.

These facilities can be utilised if environmental conditions get tough (e.g. heavy rain, wind, etc), However, the operas are all sung without amplification and the orchestra performs acoustically, so having an audio system in the house is very much a back-up plan.

The Yamaha M2500 sound desk does run all the site announcements and the public address system and so has a vital role in the big picture. It’s fully battery backed up to meet the licensing requirements, and all the equipment is also on UPSs. Sound is run through a limiter to keep the levels below 80dB.

HSL is also supplying a variety of mics and a wedge foldback system for piano rehearsals.

Around the site, HSL has supplied a selection of waterproof speakers for the public address system.




Date of issue : 8th August 2007.

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