Philips package for Buenos Aires opera house

The Teatro Colón is the main opera house in Buenos Aires

12 October 2010

Argentina - The Teatro Colón is the main opera house in Buenos Aires and its reputation for magnificent acoustics and opulence places it as one of top five opera houses in the world. It has hosted the likes of Maria Callas, Richard Strauss, Arturo Toscanini, Igor Stravinsky, Enrico Caruso, and Luciano Pavarotti. Pavarotti once described the acoustics of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires as so perfect that they challenge singers because "if one does something wrong, it is noted immediately".

However, the past century had seen the building deteriorate to the point where balconies were blocked off, walls suffocated under as many as 10 coats of paint, bronze ornaments were splattered with floor polish, carpets were stuck to the floor with cement and the stage equipment had become obsolete.

In 2006 the city government's original 'master plan' to renovate involved structural restoration, but Mayor Mauricio Macri decided on a facelift across the board to the tune of US$ 100 million - the most expensive heritage restoration in Argentina's history - in order to improve both the Colón's structure and to bring it up to date technically.

Ernesto Diz, founder of Estudio Diz, is an internationally renowned consultant in lighting and stage machinery and was in charge of the lighting system's bid specification. Diz was Professor of Lighting Design at the Buenos Aires University and was the lighting and stage designer for several projects in Argentina and abroad, working on the likes of the Teatro Argentino de la Plata, Teatro Municipal de Bahia Blanca, Centro de Convenciones de Mendoza and now the Teatro Colon.

Antonio Agra, CEO of Stage Tech SRL, is the Argentinian dealer and with the support of Jaime Friedstadt, regional sales manager for Philips Entertainment in South America they delivered the new lighting equipment which included 424 units of Philips Selecon luminaires (over 370 Pacific Zoomspots alongside Arena PCs and Aurora Cycs), 860 Strand dimmers and 48 Vari-Lite luminaires.

Jorge Perez, lighting manager at the Teatro Colón together with the lighting crew are delighted with the performance of the Selecon, Vari-Lite and Strand Lighting equipment in the breathtaking, seven-tier theatre.

While it was originally planned to reopen in time for its 100th anniversary on 25 May 2008, refurbishment delays prevented this and the Teatro Colón reopened with a gala concert on 24 May 2010. All three of the Philips Entertainment lighting companies, Selecon, Vari-Lite and Strand Lighting have been involved in this project, lighting the stage which will see more of the world's finest performers continue to tread the boards of this magnificent and opulent opera house.

(Jim Evans)

 

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