ETC’s EOS Proves Itself A Whale Of A Console

Posted on Friday, December 16th, 2011


When scheduling conflicts prevented renowned US lighting designer, Don Holder, from travelling to Australia to re-create his intricate design for The State Opera of South Australia’s production of Moby Dick he quickly called on long time friend and associate Gavan Swift to oversee the process. One of Australia’s most respected lighting designers, Gavan first worked with Holder on the Australian production of Disney’s ”The Lion King” and later spent some time with Don in New York as part his Mike Walsh Fellowship while he lit “A Streetcar Named Desire”.

Jake Heggie’s Opera Moby Dick was originally commissioned by the Dallas Opera to commemorate their inaugural season in the Winspear Opera House in Dallas and consequently the production was first plotted on the house’s new ETC EOS console. To make the transition as easy as possible the logical step was to use an EOS to re-create the show here.

Adelaide Festival Centre’s Head of Lighting, Chris Searle, saw this as a perfect opportunity to evaluate the EOS console under show conditions and asked Australian Distributor Jands whether an EOS console could be made available for the short season. Jands provided an EOS 4000 console from their demo stock and Jands Lighting Application Engineer Eddie Welsh travelled down to Adelaide on short notice to spend just a few hours with Festival Centre Programmer Nathan Luscombe helping him navigate around the new board.

Despite this being his first EOS experience, Gavan found the EOS easy to work with. “I have done a lot of work with Strand 500 and ETC Obsession series consoles over the years and I found the command line syntax of the EOS to be very familiar and easy to work with.” “I found I could walk up to the console and get a channel up straight away.” “Given that this was the first time that Nathan or I had done a show on the console we were quite relieved to find it so simple to work with.”

The show incorporated a complex rig including Alpha Beam 1500’s, VL1000’s, colour scrollers and the usual conventional array, all of which were handled easily by the powerful EOS software. The EOS performed without a glitch throughout, helping Gavan to contribute to what one reviewer observed as “the amazing visual side of this production”. After leaving Adelaide Gavan was looking forward to continuing the EOS experience on his next project being the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Joe Orton’s “Loot” in the EOS equipped Drama Theatre at the Sydney Opera House.