Royal Opera House stage machinery

Royal Opera House

Flying System Upgrade

Design & Engineering
Machinery Automation
Performer Flying
Service & Support

Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House is home to the Royal Ballet, Royal Opera and Royal Opera House Orchestra. The venue is in operation seven days a week, which made upgrading the flying system – with the continual cycle of shows and rehearsals – a significant challenge.

The Royal Opera House’s unrelenting schedule means that regular maintenance needs to be precisely coordinated. Introducing an upgrade into an already crammed schedule would always prove demanding, and with the opera house running shows and rehearsals seven days a week with only a two-week summer hiatus, this complete flying system overhaul involved meticulous planning and a phased approach.
Royal Opera House stage machinery
Close up shot of TAIT EpiQ console
Undoubtedly the most challenging element of the project was that the controls and safety upgrades needed to seamlessly integrate with pre-upgrade flying equipment to ensure the stage automation’s continued operation. Outside of the summer shutdown, our teams operated a slick weekly schedule of overnight and weekend work to minimize disruption to the relentless program at the Royal Opera House.
Royal Opera House stage machinery

We upgraded the Motor Control Centre cabinets, 108 flybar winches, transferred 18 lighting battens to Apex hoist operation, and replaced multiple point hoists. We added 70 Kinesys Apex hoists to the grid and integrated almost 1000 load cells, complete with new safety features to allow performer flying to modern safety standards. Key to the smooth operation of this equipment is an array of epiQ consoles.While every single element of London’s Royal Opera House’s flying infrastructure was impacted by the work, we completed it with zero disruption to the show schedule thanks to a thoughtful and methodical timetable of work.

The staff of the Royal Opera House
Electrical Subcontractor
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