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WATCHOUT sets the stage for “Rebecca” at Malmö Opera

Dataton WATCHOUT provides digital scenery for stage version of “Rebecca” at Malmö Opera.

Rave reviews greeted the Scandinavian premiere of the musical “Rebecca” at Malmö Opera in February 2014. Based on the book by Daphne Du Maurier and Hitchcock’s famous thriller, the stage version features a backdrop of sweeping landscapes, crackling fire, wild seas, shattering vases and spinning moons – all created with a four-projector setup under the command of Dataton WATCHOUT multi-display software.

The musical by Levay and Kunze is heavily influenced by the film version of “Rebecca”, with swift cuts to new scenes and sets. To maintain that feel and pace, lighting and set designer Bengt Gomér worked with Malmö Opera’s AV coordinator, Joakim Täck, and production company Visual Relief to create a dynamic digital set with WATCHOUT. The 6 by 17 m stage is filled with stills, effects and video footage for the entire performance – just over two hours.

“Our specialty is re-creating and transforming spaces by using projection and lighting, ” says Johannes Ferm Winkler, Visual Relief. “The production is a psychological thriller and calls for scenography that can be both dramatic and subtle, instantly changing to create the right atmosphere. ”

Visual Relief started by building a 3D model of the stage to fine-tune mapping, effects and scene changes in WATCHOUT. In the performance, two Digital Projection TITAN Super Quad 1080p projectors are used to cover the center stage, flanked by two Sanyo PLC-47 projectors.

“The projections use a large number of video tracks and effects, all handled by WATCHOUT, ” comments Joakim Täck, Malmö Opera, and adds: “We use WATCHOUT in almost all our productions as there’s projected scenery in just about every performance.”

The reaction to “Rebecca” has been overwhelmingly positive from both critics and the audience. National newspaper Svenska Dagbladet lauded the “fantastic video-based scenography” while comments from theater-goers on social media ranged from “wow” to “wonderful.”

Photo by Malin Arnesson

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