In their quest for continuous improvement through the incorporation of new technology into their productions, The Santa Fe Opera, in collaboration with Barbizon Light of the Rockies, has acquired a selection of the very latest in video technology. Included are five Hippotizer Rackoon media servers, in addition to four Panasonic 20K projectors, and a remote Zookeeper PC for networked Rackoon control. The powerful and flexible new system will allow the Opera to enhance existing scenery with mapped images; or to quickly and easily experiment with and create virtual scenery.
The first show this season to use the new media server system was Carmen, followed by a double-bill, The Impressario and Le Rossignol, opening this month.
“We’ve had a long relationship with the Santa Fe Opera,” explains Barbizon’s Systems Integrator, Peter Maurelli. “When their very professional production and design team told us what they had in mind, we made the joint decision that the Hippotizer Rackoon would be a cost-effective, reliable solution. We’ve had a lot of experience with Hippotizers and find them to be very versatile and ideal for theatrical applications.”
Peter adds, “I really admire the way the Opera’s production and technical group work as a team. They’re organized, analytical, cooperative, technical, forward thinking, and artistic. They’ve worked together for several years and it shows!”
Incorporating new technology in a venerable opera company requires a number of considerations: from production value, to budget, to lifespan; from physical and technical integration, to learning curve, to support. Working with Barbizon on this project were key members of opera’s transition team: Paul Horpedahl, Director of Production and Facilities; Lee Fiskness, Lighting Director; and Travis Shupe, Master Electrician (and Hippotizer Programmer).
“We brought in a good friend, and former employee of the opera, Chris Reay from The Seattle Opera to assist with the technical transition,” says Travis. “Chris’ knowledge of our company, and his expereince integrating projections in Seattle helped us smoothly incorporate video into our five-show rotating rep. In preparation, we remodeled space for projection booths, added new wiring, and of course trained on the gear. TMB’s Geoffrey Platt joined us in Santa Fe and trained our team on the Hippotizer software, which was VERY helpful! The Rackoons have proven to be very flexible, stable, and ultimitely easy to program in our limited tech schedule. We are thouroughly enjoying our Green Hippo experience!”
Learn more about The Santa Fe Opera at http://www.santafeopera.org. Find out about Barbizon at www.barbizon.com. TMB distributes Green Hippo products, including Hippotizer Media Servers and the new AViary Video Tools, in the Americas: www.tmb.com/products/greenhippo. Learn more about TMB’s range of professional products and services at www.tmb.com.
[photos by Paul Horpedahl]