Manchester Opera House has recently replaced its in-house followspots by purchasing two Robert Juliat Arthur LT 800W LED followspots from White Light in the UK.
Arthur LT is a long-throw version of the original Arthur followspot with a narrower beam (4°-10° zoom range) and an output that exceeds that of an HMI 2500W followspot.
It has an enhanced light quality with a CRI >94 and a sound level that is quieter than any of its discharge rivals, all of which helps to ensure Arthur LT is as suitable for theatres as for concerts or big arenas. The Arthur LT units replaced Manchester Opera House’s aging Cyrano followspots which had given a good 15 years of service at the busy venue.
White Light’s business development manager, Jonathan Haynes, first introduced Arthur LT to Stuart Graham, head of technical operations at the Ambassador’s Theatre Group, owners of Manchester Opera House, at PLASA Leeds last year.
Graham approved the purchase for Manchester, and the two followspots were delivered earlier this year.
The arrival of the Arthur LTs simultaneously marks a transition from traditional sources to LED as John Mace, Technical Manager at the Opera House explains: “As our Robert Juliat Cyrano followspots began to wear out, we wanted to replace them with something contemporary, with more modern technology that would last us for the next 15 years.
The Arthur LT LED followspot was the perfect fit for our venue, and the ideal substitute for the Cyrano lamps. It is packed full of features. The light is even and cool with no hot spots and we have used standard gels with no issues. Additionally, Arthur LT’s onboard system allows the LED source to connect to the lighting desk, which is a feature we are looking forward to putting to good use.”
The 110-year old, Grade II listed touring venue hosts a broad programme of plays, musicals, ballet and concerts and a special Christmas pantomime each year.
One of the largest theatres in Manchester with a 1930 seating capacity, MOH’s stage is 37 feet wide x 42 feet deep with an approximate 29m throw distance from the followspot box where the Arthur LTs are sited.
“The Arthur LTs look great on our stage, delivering an excellent equivalent output to the Cyranos,” reports Mace. “The operators report they are a delight to operate, being smooth and well balanced.
As regards to maintenance, the spots operate at a lower temperature, are extremely quiet and don’t have a cumbersome ballast to maintain. The LED is easy to replace and should last a lot longer than an HMI lamp.
“All the visiting companies have been impressed with them so far and with the light output they are able to deliver. We couldn’t be happier with our purchase.”
More information on Robert Juliat’s full range of lighting solutions on www.robertjuliat.com
Text by Robert Juliat