2022 TAIT Yearbook

Royal Opera House Flying System Upgrade

Home to the world-renowned Royal Ballet, Royal Opera and Royal Opera House Orchestra, the Royal Opera House – in London’s Covent Garden – opened its doors in 1858, before being extensively rebuilt during the 1990s. With the upgrade commencing pre-pandemic, there were two challenges to consider: firstly, the Royal Opera House’s shows and rehearsals run seven days a week with only a two-week summer hiatus to complete essential maintenance. That meant that all work would need to be sympathetic to the theater’s unrelenting schedule and work around other departments’ maintenance. Secondly, since the extensive works would need to be completed over a significant period, new components would need to seamlessly integrate with the existing system until the project had been completed. Following a pilot, we were selected to fulfil the upgrade; work that would touch every part of the flying infrastructure during the daily production cycle.

iQ Multi-Operator

Navigator and iQ enable multiple operators to simultaneously work on the show using epiQ consoles.

In addition to upgrading MCCs, we upgraded 108 flybar winches, transferred 18 lighting battens to Apex operation, overhead equipment on the rear stage, multiple point hoists, and the winches facilitating operation of the iconic house curtain. We also added 70 Kinesys Apex hoists to the grid and integrated almost 1000 load cells, along with new safety features, enabling performer flying to modern safety standards, all of which are operated by an array of epiQ consoles. As part of the project’s commitment to sustainability, parts removed from site – including brakes, cabinets, and redundant cabling – were all recycled by the client.

Collaborators The staff of the Royal Opera House Electrical subcontractor Playfords

Location London, UK



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