The Technical & Production and the TechSet Forum met this May at the Staatstheater Mainz to discuss burning technical topics, get inspired by each other and find ways to better collaborate, with a special focus on sustainability.
From the explanation of modular and standard sets (Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and Oper Wuppertal), through the presentation of Reset Scenery – a Scottish circular platform for sets for the cultural industries – and the testimony about creating a more sustainable framework for a sustainable production model (Royal Danish Opera and Dutch National Opera & Ballet), the participants received some very insightful information and examples on how to reduce their impact in the opera sector on the first day. Participants could also experience a live demo of the Next Stage winning XR project (Finnish National Opera & Ballet), which corresponded to both the sustainability and the digital pillars of the initiatives, all this in line with the NEXT STAGE initiative in collaboration with FEDORA. The group also discussed the best way to add technical details to the Operabook platform, to ease coproductions, production rentals and sales.
The sessions ended with a guided tour from the beautiful Staatstheater Mainz and its 3 stages!
The second day started with a discussion on staff exchange, its benefits and how to develop it between the technical departments. Then, the audience discovered how a very low latency conductor monitoring system was built at Dutch National Opera & Ballet and which are the criteria for a perfect transport wagon system (Dutch National Opera & Ballet and Royal Danish Opera). The participants received some updates from the Trail equipment exchange platform between opera houses from Finland and Sweden as well as a tip from Norwegian National Opera & Ballet to use Matterport, as it is a precise and easy-to-use system for sharing set designs to partners. Finally the group heard about the challenges technical departments have to deal with, when they are the only ones on which theatres count to work more sustainably.
As a nice conclusion of the meeting, Gemma Swallow from Scottish National Theatre, and working hard towards a greener future in culture, underlined the importance of professional networks like ours: cooperation is the basis to make an impactful change!
Celia Grau - Advocacy Coordinator