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World’s ‘largest’ RTS stage-manager intercom system installed at Bolshoi Theatre

The new RTS professional intercom system comprises two ADAM matrices with 448 ports, over 200 keypanels and around 120 belt-packs, plus a number of headsets and interfaces.

Opened in 1780 Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre is the largest operatic and ballet productions theatre in Russia. The recent completion of a six-year programme of renovation at the venue saw the largest ever installation of RTS professional intercom system.

Hamburg-based specialists Amptown System Company (ASC) was charged with the installation, in which the RTS system would form the nerve centre of the newly installed state-of-the-art communications equipment.

“The new intercom system had, above all, to guarantee one thing,” explains Stefan Thomsen, ASC’s specialist in communications and stage-management systems, “that all those involved in a production would be able to exchange information with each other at any time without any problem.”

Furthermore, the system had to be simplicity itself to use and configure. To help implement the system, two further teams of specialists – the Russian company TDM and ProVideo of Berlin – were called in to participate with Amptown’s and the theatre’s own technicians in the final decision.

The RTS intercom matrix was then combined with an RTS two-wire party-line intercom system that now forms the core of all communications within the Bolshoi Theatre. The RTS intercom system consists of two Advanced Digital Audio Matrix (ADAM) frames with a total of 448 ports, the frames being linked by four redundant DBX cards. 200 keypanels from the KP-32, KP-12 and MKP-4 series as well as 120 party-line belt-packs and headsets provide for reliable communication between the stage managers and theatre staff behind, beneath and above the stage.

Numerous DSI-2008 two-wire/four-wire interfaces are used to link the four-wire ADAM and two-wire party-line systems to one another. In addition, the installation is rounded off by 20 TIF-4000 multi-line telephone interfaces that connect the intercom system to the theatre’s telephone switchboard to integrate standard telephone lines into the overall matrix.

“The new stage-management system can be operated from any of six stage-manager’s desks in different parts of the theatre,” adds Thomsen. “The SNMP protocol provides supervision of the system components. Naturally the RTS intercom system is also integrated via SNMP into the supervision concept.”

“Experts from other theatres have been making special trips to Moscow to examine and report back on the installation,” reports Thomsen. “This is understandable, of course, as what’s good enough for the Bolshoi can also be the perfect solution for any other theatre in the world.”