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Epson and Modulo Pi power first grand opera in Arabic language

Epson video projectors and Modulo Pi's Kinetic media servers were used to stage Zarqa Al Yamama, the first opera produced in Saudi Arabia, at King Fahad Cultural Centre, Riyadh

Epson video projectors and Modulo Pi’s Kinetic media servers powered Zarqa Al Yamama, the first grand opera in Arabic and the first operatic work produced in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at the King Fahad Cultural Centre in the city of Riyadh. At the heart of the production, a video-projection system with mobile screens was deployed by service provider VLS Middle East.

Three panoramic screens were at the core of the system – two landscape screens, each measuring 10m x 4m, and one portrait screen, measuring 3.2m x 7.8m. Each screen was lit by two Epson EB-PU2220B video projectors. Used in rear projection, the six projectors were installed on automated poles that moved simultaneously with the screens.

The screens were placed at a height of 25m, at the level of the fly lofts above the stage, and at different depths. The screens were moved down onto the stage and back up into the fly lofts over the course of the two-hour show.

To power the projection in motion, VLS worked with Modulo Pi’s Modulo Kinetic media server. It delivered the media with a resolution of 3840 x 1200 on each of the horizontal screens, and 1200 x 3840 for the vertical screen. In addition, Modulo Kinetic’s UI Designer function was used to create a control interface to make rehearsals easier.

The set was created by Roberto Vitalini, a video set designer from Bashiba, an immersive production studio. Using the interface, he was able to launch the videos made for the opera in complete autonomy.

The first performance took place in the spring of 2024 and it ran from April 25 to May 4. Zarqa Al Yamama was inspired by the an Arabian folk story about the heroine of the same name. The performance featured English opera star Sarah Connolly, Italian tenor Serena Farnocchia and Saudi soprano Sawsan Al Bahiti. It was written by Saudi Arabian playwright Saleh Zamanan.