January 1, 2010
The State Theatre of Mecklenburg in Schwerin is one of the finest theatres in Germany. Since 1836, it has provided a stage for drama, ballet, opera, orchestral performances and even puppet shows. After closing in May 2009 to permit an extensive programme of refurbishment to go ahead, the theatre reopened its doors at the beginning of November.
The first performances in the newly renovated theatre, the premiere of Yasmina Reza’s play Der Gott des Gemetzels and a concert by the Mecklenburg State Orchestra, on the 7th and 8th November respectively, were also the first under the aegis of the new stage management system. Designed and installed by the Hamburg-based system integrator Amptown System Company (ASC), the new system from TELEX/RTS satisfies the complex and diverse requirements of the Schwerin theatre. The nerve centre of the stage manager’s station is now a Cronus intercom matrix from RTS.
Erhardt Petrich, the State Theatre of Mecklenburg’s Production Engineer, had very clear ideas about what he wanted from the new system. “The specification we prepared stipulated that the stage management system should be flexible, expandable and tailored to the requirements of the new understage machinery.” The latter integrates infrared cameras, for example, that allow the stage manager to discern, even in the dark, whether an elevator podium is occupied by an actor or can safely be lowered.” The stage management system covers not only the stage in the main theatre but also all backstage areas,” says Petrich; these include places like the canteen, shops and trap room as well as the green room, dressing rooms and wings.
Stefan Thomsen, ASC’s Project Manager, was responsible for the installation of the stage management console. “The new SM console is the nerve centre of the main theatre. The control devices are located centrally in a 19” cabinet in the cellar. We’ve positioned the TELEX/RTS intercom stations linked to the system at strategic locations within the theatre.” These allow the stage manager to communicate directly with stagehands and performers wherever they may be backstage.
The Cronus intercom matrix is the central control element for verbal communication. It establishes command channels, controls the public address system, allows for the introduction of monitor signals and activates a miscellany of other functions. With the help of the connected keypanels (RTS KP-12 and EKP-20) not only can messages be relayed over the theatre’s existing 100 volt system but special communication channels can be established to meet the needs of each production.
In the State Theatre of Mecklenburg in Schwerin, RTS intercom technology has once again demonstrated its flexibility and wide compatibility, which enables here the state-of-the-art new RTS equipment to network effortlessly with the ageing 100-volt system already in place.
Peter Meißner, the State Theatre of Mecklenburg’s Technical Director, had been looking for a flexible, made-to-measure and moreover affordable solution; all it took was a visit to the Deutsche Schauspielhaus (German Playhouse) in Hamburg to convince him of ASC’s credentials and the case for a solution from RTS. “In Hamburg, ASC had designed an integrated system that was easy to operate. I wanted just such a system tailored to the requirements of our theatre – and now we have one!”
About the State Theatre of Mecklenburg in Schwerin
The State Theatre of Mecklenburg, Schwerin, provides the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern not only with its cultural centre but also with a powerful magnet for tourists from neighboring states. With something like 200,000 seats sold per year, it is also one Germany’s best-attended theatrical venues. Aside from the Main Theatre (or Großes Haus), which seats 545, performances can be staged in the Concert Foyer with its 220 seats and the 100-seater E-Werk. Under General Manager Joachim Krümnitz, the State Theatre has offered a diverse programme of plays, operas ballets, ‘low German theatre’ and puppet shows of a consistently high quality.
About Amptown System Company GmbH
The Amptown System Company (ASC) forms part of the Amptown Group, which has been established since the 70s as a specialist in sound. Within the group, ASC has focused successfully on the creation of integrated audio, video and media solutions. Numbered among the company’s references are major musical productions such as Cats, and Phantom of the Opera, famous theatres such as the Deutsche Schauspielhaus in Hamburg and Friedrichstadtpalast, the AIDA cruiser fleet, the Olympic Games and corporations such as Siemens and Bertelsmann.