In the alluring score, full of hidden harmonies and tumultuous crescendos, and the only score capable of narrating the wonderful journey of 273 years of the Teatro di San Carlo, another historic date is added. As well as its inauguration in 1737, and following its reconstruction in 1816, here we are, witnessing the theatre’s reopening, on 27 January 2010. Three unique moments; three dates which transcend the numbers, and which mark the life of that which has been defined “the most beautiful theatre in the world!” (the words of Stendhal no less!)
Undersecretary to the Presidency of the Italian Council of Ministers
The last two years have seen the start and completion of a comprehensive renovation and restoration plan of Teatro San Carlo, the world’s oldest opera house and one of southern Italy’s leading musical institutions. With the contribution of some 65 million Euro from the Campania Region, impressive artistic and technological restoration works have been carried that have given the theatre newly-kindled prospects of competing for productions to stage on the European and international scene. The theatre is ready again to take up its role of key cultural reference point for its city, region, Europe, and the world.
The list of San Carlo theatre’s new features is impressive: new rehearsal rooms for the orchestra, choir and corps de ballet; new dressmaking and set design facilities (from converted technical spaces); a redesigned foyer; brand new air conditioning system; a conservative restoration of the auditorium; a technical redesign of its stage, and a revamped artistic setting. It will soon welcome such internationally acclaimed artists
President of the Campania Region in charge during the restoration period
We have reached our goal – 27 January 2010 – and the end of a tough race. It was an important and reassuring moment and we can even allow ourselves a happy smile. We can see the results, acknowledge our strengths and achievements - and look to the future. For there is always another deadline to meet. We are pleased to no longer have to watch our backs but most of all, we can see, in sharp focus, the present, our main concern. The new Teatro di San Carlo is today handed back firstly to its own city. And to the world of international culture
Special Administrator of the Teatro di San Carlo
The Theatre’s old carpentry workshop area, consisting of a large basement area in the gardens of the Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) and disused for years, has been fully renovated for use almost completely as a choir rehearsal room.
The electrical systems that have been installed include lighting with projectors on motorised trusses that can be manoeuvred for projector assembly/disassembly operations, and routine maintenance.
(from Teatro di San Carlo Memoria e innovazione - page 143)
The electrical systems of the stage area are both extensive and complex. The technology applied inside the stage area is among the most modern anywhere today, with a truly impressive distribution panel for powering the lighting fixtures.
A separate topic is the powering of the direct and dimmered sockets that make up the main supporting structure for production. The Theatre’s previous equipment had about 450 sockets, which were sadly inadequate to meet today’s demands in terms of both extension and installed power. The design involved installing 950 sockets, direct and dimmered, on all the area but with a particular concentration on the stage floor. For this installation, a board of 9 sockets was designed, all individually interlocked, and divided for easy access by opening a small panel above. Users can therefore connect/disconnect them quickly and efficiently and in complete safety. These panels have been positioned around the stage to minimise the length of loose cables during performances.
Upstream of these circuits and of the over 150 audio-video sockets, are also the dimmer cabinets. These have been upgraded in quantity and board quality. The large number of circuits, exactly 950, has made it necessary to install a lot of new dimmer panels with as many differential magneto-thermal switches to ensure safety to the equipment (cable, socket, projector) and to those who will work there on a daily basis. These panels have been housed in a special dimmer tower which is located on the side of the stage, and which includes the light control room on the lower level and all the protection and dimmer panels on the three upper levels.
All the cables laid inside the stage tower are particularly safe in the event of a fire, being indeed flame-retardant, fire-retardant and having reduced toxic-gas emissions. They are also fully encased in metal raceways that protect them from mechanical damage.
(from Teatro di San Carlo Memoria e innovazione - page 167
Summary of products supplied and installed
Electrical systems including 934 interlocked sockets,
among which 790 dimmered and 142 direct
2 Power supply Switch Board
1 Direct sockets Switch Board
3 Dimmered circuits RCB
176 Dimmer channels 3KW ADB Twin Tech
141 Dimmer channels 5KW ADB Twin Tech
75000mt of power cable FG10 OM1 in suitable cable tray system.
4000mt of flat power cable for servicing the direct and dimmered circuits on the trusses
DMX system revision and expansion
Expansion of lighting control from 1024 to 1536 channels
7 rows of motorized trusses 15mt long, section 40x40 in the Production rehearsal room
2 rows of motorized trusses 15mt long, section 40x40 in the Orchestra rehearsal room
8 fixed trusses with power cable collector basket in the stage.
About Theatre of San Carlo