Geelong Arts Centre has raised the curtain on its $140 million Little Malop Street redevelopment, a Victorian Government-backed transformation that has created Australia’s largest dedicated regional arts centre boasting two new theatres alongside new bars and event spaces.
With new venues comes new equipment including 28 Claypaky Sinfonya Profile 600 fixtures that have received rave reviews. These unique, low-noise LED-based fixtures, were conceived and developed exclusively for the theatre market. They are stylish and packed with technology, offering endless possibilities for theatre designers thanks to a wide variety of features specifically developed for theatrical productions.
Show Technology’s Keith Bradshaw visited the crew at Geelong Arts Centre to conduct a shootout of various fixtures after receiving specifications from Ben Van Dillen, Technical Operations Manager for the venue.
“We needed a fixture that had shutters on it and I wanted an excellent colour profile,” said Ben. “I wanted a moving light that was going to match our LED profiles, something that we could use not just as a theatre light, but also as a rock and roll style light. It was important to have automated fixtures for shows that come in for only a day that you need to turn around really quickly. The MA3 consoles that we also purchased enable us to speed up programming and focus.”
Ben adds that the Sinfonyas are amazing and that all of the touring LDs who have used them love them.
Lighting designer Ian Scott was delighted to get his hands on the Claypaky Sinfonyas whilst designing Jersey Boys for Geelong Lyric Theatre Company.
“The multi-colour emitter light engine is great, the ability to get saturated colours at high intensity helps punch through additive colour fixtures, unlike traditional CMY subtractive fixtures,” he commented. “The gobo selection is great for a wide variety of use cases but could do with another wheel of gobos. A 5 – 60° zoom range is all that I ask for in a fixture. They were great in The Play House and I’m sure they will be great in smaller and larger venues.”
Jason Bouvaird was just as impressed by the Sinfonyas after using them on a production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
“I found the Claypaky Sinfonyas to be an incredible moving light spot,” he remarked. “The brightness out of these lights at 9 metres is incredible. They are quick to respond to all movements on stage and the gobos in the lights are of an excellent selection. The shutter framing on the lights is a huge bonus and feature of them as well. I think these lights are the next generation of a high workhorse in a moving light fleet.”
Also finding a home at Geelong Arts Centre are a couple of MA Lighting grandMA3 compact XT consoles as well as a grandMA3 light.
Ben comments that their fleet of grandMA3s simply work for what they need.
“We wanted to make sure we had two consoles to fit out the two new venues plus one spare,” he added. “We felt the MA3 compact XT was the ideal choice and it was a way of getting the most that we can out of the budget we had at the time. We went down the path of MA, as opposed to another brand, as we have found it’s such a popular console.”
Ben admits that initially, they decided on the MA3 model believing it to be similar to the MA2 platform.
“It’s very different actually!” he laughed. “One thing I like about it is you can run MA2 or MA3 on the console which is useful being a venue that has a lot of touring shows come through. We have the flexibility of people bringing in MA2 show files or MA3 show files and that’s been great. The training and support have been really good. We required a console that we can busk on or something that we can program a show very quickly and the MA platform works well for that.”
“They feature a virtual colour wheel on them which is pretty impressive,” he continued. “The framing is excellent and the intensity of the colours is great. Plus they are almost silent, produce an amazing quality of light and precision re-positioning.”