ETC lights the Novosibirsk State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet

The Novosibirsk State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet (NSATOB) is the biggest theater complex in Russia, a whopping 670,000-square-feet larger than the Bolshoi (Big) Theater in Moscow. It is also now one of the most technologically advanced in the country thanks to a recent $5.6 million government grant for renovation.

The design for the massive complex was chosen at an architectural competition in Paris in 1930. Construction on NSATOB began the following year, but was halted for a time during WWII. During the war, the partially completed building was used to house famous works of art from Moscow and St. Petersburg museums that had been evacuated, in order to preserve them. Construction was finally completed in 1945, and the complex’s premier performance of Mikhail Glinka’s Ivan Susanin was staged on May 12th, 1945 in celebration of V-E Day. In 1963, NSATOB became the first theater in Russia outside of Moscow to be named an academic institution for theater arts.

The last time the theater underwent renovation was in 1953. Its three performance venues were in dire need of restoration and improved technology. From acoustics to lighting to general stage technology, the theater is now completely digital. As part of that high-tech upgrade, NSATOB chose state-of-the-art lighting systems by ETC.

NSATOB’s 1,174-seat Main Hall is now outfitted with 16 ETC Source Four® 10° spotlights, hanging from the balconies. The fixtures were chosen for the theater because Source Four technology provides the best light output to span the long distance from the stage. The theater also has 24 ETC Source Four 19°, 10 Source Four 26°, and 12 Source Four 36° fixtures. Aleksandr Lisitsa, NSATOB’s lighting director, says: “ETC Source Four fixtures deserve the love and respect of lighting technicians, because they have great features and are versatile when it comes to beam angles. They’re also easy to use.”

When selecting equipment, NSATOB’s technicians also wanted to use moving lights but were worried about the noise they would make. To solve this problem, they chose 26 ETC Source Four Revolution automated fixtures with their exclusive QuietDrive™ motor control for low-noise performance. With the capabilities that NSATOB’s lighting system now has, the theater can support a larger range of productions, including international touring shows. DOKA Media Ltd., one of ETC’s distributors in Russia, handled the installation for NSATOB.

As part of the reconstruction, the number of seats in the main hall was reduced from 2100 to 1174 to provide more audience comfort and better sightlines. The concert hall, on the other hand, was expanded from 370 to 686 seats and can now be reconfigured into different layouts to fit many functions. A new black-box theater with 130 seats can be used as a recording studio.

NSATOB’s troupe has toured worldwide in Japan, France, Australia, Cuba, Italy, Bulgaria, Mongolia, China, Germany, Spain, the U.S., South Korea, India and many other countries.


NSATOB, Novosibirsk, Russia

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“ETC Source Four fixtures deserve the love and respect of lighting technicians, because they have great features and are versatile when it comes to beam angles. They’re also easy to use.” – Aleksandr Lisitsa, lighting director

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