Movetech UK at the opera


The rental team at Movetech UK has successfully completed the first phase of a project for English National Opera, supplying and installing a revolving stage at the Young Vic for the world-famous Opera’s annual residence at the theatre. This year’s production, the rarely performed Monteverdi opera, The Return of Ulysses, has enjoyed rave reviews for its staging.

Under the direction of Benedict Andrews, the opera’s stage designer, Börkur Jónsson created a stark, contemporary performance area within a glass-walled box which turned on the 5m diameter revolving stage to reveal the unfolding events full circle.

Led by rental manager, Matt Forrest, based at the company’s Loughton depot, the Movetech UK team supported both the rehearsal and performance period 24/7 to ensure continuity and optimum operation of the revolve.
“Our first job was to install the revolve at the set builders so that the set could be built on and around the revolving stage,” says Matt Forrest. “Once this was done we moved the revolve to a rehearsal room where the set was built and the opera rehearsed.

“Then it was off to the Young Vic for the performance installation. Throughout the run we were on call 24/7, and we made several visits to the theatre to check the stage was running smoothly.”

“It was a busy and challenging job, but the team working on The Return of Ulysses were a great bunch, and we had some good times working with them, too. We’re looking forward to doing it all again in the Autumn, when the opera takes to the stage at ENO.”

The revolving stage supplied to ENO is from Movetech UK’s standard range, which includes units from 1m to 33m in diameter available to rent or buy from stock, with or without full on site installation and support services.

To enable the revolve to operate within this ultra sound-critical environment, Movetech UK modified the stage to reduce motor noise. Extra sound-deadening materials were used to reduce vibration, allowing the turntable to rotate almost silently with what was effectively a sound box on top of it. These and subsequent modifications have been made to the revolving stage to ensure an even more effective run later in the year.

DMX control interface is available on all revolving stages, and Movetech UK also offer annular rings and scissor lifts to provide optimum flexibility. Quality and reliability are built in to both the equipment and service provided.

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