Estonian National Opera

New Lighting Control System at the Estonian National Opera


September 2014

The classic art nouveau building designed by Finnish architects Armas Lindgren and Wivi Lonn was the largest building in Tallinn at the beginning of the 20th century. One side of this two-wing building served as a theatre, while the other one served as a concert hall. Such functional division has remained till today. There was a yard and a restaurant in between the buildings. The theatre and concert hall was opened on 24 August 1913 and the great sculptor August Weizenberg gave the new theatre two of his sculptures – Koit (the Dawn) and Hämarik (the Sunset) which would serve as decorations for the Red Hall of the new building.

The building was reconstructed in 1919 after Estonia regained its independence as well as in the second half of 1940’s after the air strikes of World War II, when it was basically destroyed. This time it was no longer rebuilt as an art nouveau specimen, but as a building inspired by neoclassicism and post-war architectural tendencies.

The lowest part of the building between both of the wings was only reconstructed in 1991 and it was used to house a conservatorium theatre, which was known as the Opera's Winter Garden.

In 2013, the Estonian National Opera marked its 100th anniversary. Today its repertoire includes a wide range of classical and contemporary opera productions, musicals, operettas as well as ballets.

SGS Sistēmas became business partners with the Estonian National Opera in 2014 when the opera decided to get rid of the problems related to control of the stage lighting system, which they had faced for several years:

  • the existing lighting control was out-dated and did not meet the modern technical demands;
  • the theatre was often going on road shows in Finland where the lighting designers would have to configure the shows from the very beginning as their lighting show files were not compatible with the lighting control consoles used in the respective venues.

The Estonian National Opera made a decision to acquire a new and modern stage lighting control system with possibilities to upgrade it in the future. Technical specialists from the Opera’s lighting department carefully studied the current options of lighting control systems in the global market and decided to develop the new system on the basis of MA Lighting grandMA2. Besides, apart from replacement of the lighting control consoles, they also established a control network MA-Net2.

This decision was also made because a large number of the theatres in Finland, where the Estonian National Opera is a frequent guest, were also using these grandMA2 systems exactly, making preparation for the road shows much easier.

SGS Sistēmas chose one of the leading companies in the industry Eventech OÜ as their business partner to take part in the procurement and supply the opera with the necessary equipment.

Technical staff of the Estonian National Opera had to work very hard to install the new system and record all of the existing shows in the new lighting control system. For this reason, our lighting system specialist Jurijs Fjodorovs led a three-day training course on operation of the grandMA2 system for the opera's technical staff before installation of the equipment.

Installed Equipment:

  • 1 x MA Lighting grandMA2 Light SV – lighting control console
  • 1 x MA Lighting grandMA2 Fader Wing – extension for a lighting control console
  • 1 x MA Lighting NPU – network processor
  • 1 x MA Lighting MA onPC – command wing
  • 12 x MA Lighting 4Port Node – network unit