When Budapest's National Theatre opened in 2002, it was outfitted with the most advanced lighting technology available at that time. After more than a decade, the venue - which is at the forefront of dramatic theaters in Hungary and is internationally renowned - decided it was time to upgrade their lighting-control system, and chose ETC Eos®-family consoles for the job.
Zsolt Fésüs, the head of lighting for the National Theatre, knew that selecting a new lighting system would be an extensive and complex undertaking, which needed very careful consideration. He didn't want the changeover to disrupt theater operations, and he knew that factors like budget, sustainability and product longevity needed to be assessed. "The lighting system's design took more than a year and a half of meticulous planning," he says. In that time, he and his staff tested products by a range of manufacturers, including the ETC Eos Titanium (Eos Ti™) desk, which had recently been installed at the Vígszínház Theatre in Budapest.
In the end, they chose ETC. "I have worked with ETC products for many years," explains Fésüs, "and I have a lot of experience with the Expression console. I worked with it for many years and was always very satisfied. The console was very reliable." His staff was also impressed by the quality of the products that ETC makes, the company's history, and the dependable support provided by Luminis Ltd, ETC's dealer in Budapest. "ETC has decades of experience developing lighting systems for theaters, and that expertise made ETC our first choice," continues Fésüs. "Part of ETC's philosophy is that new products complement existing ones, which saves time, money and resources, and contributes to sustainability."
They purchased two Eos Ti desks - one used as a master and one for backup - for the main hall, two Gio® consoles for the blackbox theater, and a third Gio for touring and small gigs in other parts of the venue. The staff wanted to get familiar with the consoles as quickly as possible, so they downloaded the offline software before the desks were even delivered. That way, the theater's 12 lighting technicians became accustomed to the functions, features and user interfaces of the consoles before their in-house training session, which was led by employees from Luminis Ltd, ETC Field Project Coordinator Florian Maier and ETC Service Technician Wolfgang Rothe. "The training was very well prepared," describes Fésüs. "We had a very good knowledge basis, and could work with the system after a very short time."
The new Eos-family desks help to facilitate the work that the National Theatre's lighting team does, and allow them to accurately realize their creative ideas. "You always come across new, demanding challenges," summarizes Fésüs. "Together with my team, we have handled a variety of productions. I am enthusiastic about these jobs and love the applause."