May 20, 2011
The Nuremberg State Theatre is one of the largest and most prestigious playhouses in Germany. First opened in 1905 and thoroughly renovated for the first time after its rebuild in 1998, the theatre features three tiers and a total capacity of 1,000 visitors. Elevated in 2003 to the status of state theatre, the venue offers a varied programme of opera, operetta, classical music, song recitals, chamber music and children's concerts. This year, the theatre was again renovated, with considerable emphasis placed upon the technical equipment, key requirements being a new console for the stage manager and a professional intercom system that would ensure smoother communication between production personnel.
"It was important for us to significantly expand the channels of communication to provide the stage manager with over all control of the technical elements of a production during both performance and rehearsals," says Boris Brinkmann, the head of the sound department at the Nuremberg State Theatre. "We wanted an intercom system that would allow all the personnel involved in the events on stage to communicate freely with one another."
For this to be possible, the new radio intercom system had to be connected to the wireless equipment already in service in the theatre. After an invitation to tender to which there was a lively response, the BTR-80N from RTS/TELEX beat out the competition. "The system allows multiple participants to speak and listen simultaneously via radio," explains Brinkmann. "It therefore contributes significantly to the overall safety of productions. At the slightest hint of danger, for example, a 'Stop' command can be issued that will bring all equipment to an instant standstill."
But it is not only when danger arises that flawless and reliable communication within the theatre is essential. During rehearsals and performances, the uninterrupted flow of instructions, cues and prompts to stage technicians and performers serves to coordinate the production process. The person in overall command at such times is the stage manager, and his most important tool is his console. "One of our key stipulations was that the new console should offer the stage manager not only greater control of proceedings but also more intuitive access to the personnel involved than that offered by the previous system," says Brinkmann: "direct access to other departments, for example, rather than reliance on the call system. The new intercom system from RTS provides just that, with DKP-16CLD matrix keypanels in different parts of the theatre allowing conference calls and simultaneous access to all responsible departments, which, in turn, are able to respond."
The nerve centre of the stage manager's console is the KP 32 CLD Color Display Keypanel from RTS. Like all the other keypanels, this is connected to the central matrix: a Cronus 32 x 32 from RTS. "The Cronus digital matrix takes over the configuration of all command channels, the routing of monitor signals and the activation of special functions" explains Stefan Thompsen of Amptown System Company, which performed the installation.
The compatibility of the RTS/TELEX systems made it possible for the ASC team to hook up the new communication system to the one already in place without any difficulty. The baptism of fire came with the Albrecht Duerer Opera Ball at the end of September and the new equipment proved an immediate success. "The new console is perfectly adapted to our requirements," says Brinkmann. "Our people now have a greater creative potential to draw upon, which offers huge benefit to their work as artists."
Extract from the equipment list
Intercom matrix: RTS
Cronus 32 x 32
Keypanels: 2 x RTS KP-32CLD, 10 x RTS DKP-16CLD, 4 x RTS BKP-4
Party-line interface: RTS
Full-duplex wireless intercom system: 2 x TELEX BTR-80N, 8 x TELEX TR-80N belt-packs
For more information about ASC, visit: www.amptown-system.com
For more information about the Nuremberg State theatre, visit: