Strand Lighting will supply the lighting system for the new Toronto Opera House. The Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts, will be the new home for the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada. The theater has a 2,000-seat auditorium specifically designed for opera and ballet. The design team for the project includes Jack Diamond and Gary McCluskie, Diamond and Schmitt Architects, Shaili Patel and Lana MacInnes of Mulvey and Banani International, Electrical Engineers, and Josh Dachs and Richard Hoyes of the theatrical consulting firm, Fisher Dachs and Associates. The acoustical consultants are Sound Space Design of London in association with Aercoustics Ltd.

Tim Burnham, president of Strand Lighting comments, "We appreciate the confidence placed in our company by consultants Josh Dachs and Richard Hoyes, of Fisher Dachs and Associates in New York City, who specified Strand Lighting for this flagship project."


A rendering of the new auditorium. Rendering courtesy Diamond and Schmitt Architects and AMD

Strand Lighting worked closely with both the Opera Company and the Ballet for over 30 years, most recently at their current home at the Hummingbird Center in Toronto with Julian Sleath Opera technical director and resident master electrician Tom Taylor. The lighting system for the theater includes 500 series consoles with ShowNet nodes and is the largest Sine-wave dimming system sold to date with over 1,000 SST Sinewave dimmers. Since the hall is designed for musical performances, the use of Sinewave dimming was critical on this project, as the hall is acoustically very quiet. The Sinewave dimmers deliver a symmetrical, continuous waveform that does not add noise to lamps that would intrude into the quiet hall, unlike other electronic dimming technology. The SST dimmers have the added bonus of savings on the building’s power feeds from the heavily loaded downtown Toronto power grid.

The traditional, four-tiered European-style horseshoe-shaped auditorium will be lined with resonant wood and plaster. Seating configurations were designed to provide unparalleled intimacy between the audience and the stage, with every seat computer-tested by FDA for the best possible sightlines. A large, flexible orchestra pit will permit the presentation of the full range of opera repertoire, from chamber pieces to full scale 19th and 20th century works. Full rear and side stages, generous dressing rooms, wardrobe and instrument storage will allow three full productions to play in repertory.

Richard Goode national sales manager for Canada says, "We worked closely with the Canadian Engineering team at Mulvey and Banani along with Salex Marnik our representative to insure that the electrical design meshed with the theater consultants’ vision of the project. The result will be a wonderful building to work in."


Construction has started on the new building for the Toronto Opera