The brand-new Amare building is an arts, culture, and educational hub on the Spui in Den Haag, the Netherlands which opened last year at the heart of this lively capital city, after six years of construction. Built on the footprint of the old Lucent Danstheater, Amare is a new centre for excellence and houses the Dance and Music Center, The Hague Foundation, the Residentie Orkest, the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) and the Royal Conservatoire.
Offering a 1500-capacity concert Hall (2500 standing) and a 1300-seater Theatre plus two other performance halls and extensive rehearsal facilities, it was a big deal to get over 100 Robe moving lights specified for the project.
These are a mix of 86 x T1 Profiles and 30 x T2 Profiles plus 60 x ParFects all supplied by Robe’s Benelux distributor Controllux and installed in the two primary venues and their main black box space.
Arjen Bijtelaar is the venue’s stage manager specialising in lighting. He has worked for the venue since 2006 – including at the Lucent Danstheater before its demolition – and explained that the original tender was for profile LED luminaires offering full white and multicoloured colour control.
The venue already had a good experience with Robe as one of the first in the country to invest in the DL7 series in 2016. This was for their temporary residence at the Zuiderstrand Theater in Scheveningen Harbour, Den Haag, which operated during the lengthy construction period.
Here the company notched up another landmark as the first cultural institution in Benelux to have Robe’s T1 Profile.
When the Amare build project started, the T2 had not yet been developed, so the initial spec won by Controllux was for the 86 x T1 Profiles. However, after moving into the fabulous new facilities last year, some additional funding became available with which they purchased the T2s and ParFects.
The requirement was for lighting that would assist both the Concert Hall and the stage, all genres of dance, plus theatre and concerts.
Of the 30 x T2s, eight are on used for the Concert Hall FOH, with four on one of the upstage bars, and the remaining 18 fixtures are in the Theatre, at FOH and in some of the side positions.
The additional power of the T2 Profile made it perfect for the job and the 30-metre throw from the FOH positions to the stage.
The extra intensity of the T2 Profile allows them to light beautifully right to the back of the Concert Hall stage which is around 40 metres from the source. “We are very lucky to get the additional investment,” commented Arjen, adding that having these fixtures in place saves a lot of discussion they might have had in previous times with visiting companies about intensities!
The T1s originally intended for the Concert Hall’s FOH bridges are deployed in other positions around the venue, mostly on the advance bar with some in the side balcony positions, with the four other T2s replacing the previous FOH positions.
The remaining 18 x T2 Profiles are in the Theatre.
Arjen and Amare lighting technician Mathijs Grool are delighted with the fixtures as are all the guest LDs who have so far visited with their various shows.
Asked to pick their favourite Robe T-series features, the multi-coloured engine without physical colour flags tops the list. “The output quality is great, and it has a certain elegance,” commented Arjen, adding that they also appreciate the refined dimmer curve and other elements like the tungsten fade that have been finished by Robe.
When talking about Robe generally, Arjen and Mathijs agree that the brand is solid and reliable which is important for a busy producing and receiving venue like Amare.
The Concert Hall features a diverse entertainment programme, anything from full symphony orchestra performances to intimate baroque music to full on pop and rock shows. The Theatre primarily stages ballet, musicals and operas, and the different Amare spaces are also available for events, private and commercial hires and other uses.
Approximately 4 shows a week are staged in both the Concert Hall and the Theatre plus rehearsals, so the schedule for both is constantly and consistently busy.
There have been no complaints about any ambient noise with these fixtures installed – not from the public, musicians, or conductors, and even the NDT, known for their precision production requirements and who have their own crew and always use the house rig.
Visiting companies have several options. They can either use the full house rig – which also contains LED washes and several other fixtures – parts of it or bring in their own full or partial productions.
The control consoles in the building are all ETC and the DMX merging is achieved via an ACN network.
Amare is a modern, streamlined, gleaming creative jewel that has brought a buzz and a new dynamic to the city centre. Everyone working there and connected to the project is delighted be back producing full-capacity shows for all to enjoy in this new post-pandemic climate.
Controllux’s Kuno van Velzen commented, “The lighting crew at the Zuiderstrand Theatre (the temporary venue for the Amare during the build) were among the first in the world to buy the Robe T1 Profile back in February 2019. It was there that they fell in love with the finesse and potential of Robe’s multi colour solution for theatre applications.”
Photo Credit: Louise Stickland
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