Victorian Opera find grandMA2 an absolute fairy tale

Posted on Tuesday, May 15th, 2012


In late January Victorian Opera presented a new production of Cinderella, a traditional pantomime for the whole family and a glorious way to introduce children to the wondrous world of theatre and music. Based on the fable, Cinderella’s adventures were given a special treatment by Victorian Opera Music Director Richard Gill, who has written both the story and songs.

This production saw pantomime return to the beautiful surrounds of Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne renewing a much-loved tradition. Cinderella featured a stellar lineup of artists from Victorian Opera and the world of music theatre.

Lighting designer for the production was Richard Vabre with Resolution X supplying the equipment. This production gave Victorian Opera’s head electrician and programmer Peter Darby an opportunity to spec a grandMA 2 control package.

“The grandMA2 light is a fantastic console to program with” exclaimed Peter. “We got some fantastic support from Show Technology. I love the MA2 console as it’s so flexible and so, so powerful. We had a primary grandMA2 light with another as a slave. That way I could program with the secondary grandMA2 light in the stalls with the primary console in place doing all the processing – the networking side of the MA consoles is one of its most brilliant features.”

Peter particularly likes the flexibility of the grandMA2 light, how you can configure it exactly how you like it.

“The grandMA2 has a much more integrated and powerful effects engine behind it compared to the original grandMA console,” he said. “Another great feature is the built-in colour pickers which I find the designers love. At one point we were running two grandMA2 light consoles, a laptop running MA onPC and another computer running the grandMA 3D visualizer. We built the whole show and plotted it with grandMA 3D at Res X’s warehouse as we knew we’d have a very limited bump in time”

The show utilized twenty-two Martin TW1 tungsten fixtures which Peter reveals are a staple fixture for the Victorian Opera.

“I have them on most shows that we do as they are quiet and designers seem to love them,” he said. “We also had some Martin MAC700 profiles for effect lighting and specials.”

One of the most important scenes is when the pumpkin transforms into a carriage and to hide the change, eleven Geni Point Strobes were attached around the proscenium, along with some Molefay Duets, to temporarily dazzle the audience. A Martin Atomic Strobe built into the carriage also added to the effect which took place in billowing smoke supplied by a JEM ZR33 smoke machine.

“Haze was supplied by four Look Solutions Unique 2 hazers that are great because they are reasonably quiet and create a really nice level of haze,” remarked Peter.

“All of our lights are from Resolution X who are amazing,” Peter added. “They really are terrific to work with.”

Victorian Opera’s next production will be the new Australian work ‘Midnight Son’ which will be on from 16th May at the Malthouse Theatre.