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Malmö Opera’s “Rebecca” Relies on Dataton’s WATCHOUT for Dramatic Backdrop


 “Rebecca” at Malmö Opera uses WATCHOUT multi-display software from Dataton, renowned Swedish show control developer and manufacturer.

Rave reviews greeted the Scandinavian premiere of the musical “Rebecca” at Malmö Opera in spring 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.

“Rebecca: The Musical” by Levay and Kunze is heavily influenced by the film version of the original book, 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 using Dataton WATCHOUT. The 6 by 17 m stage is filled with stills, effects and video footage for the entire performance – just over two hours.

Malmö Opera's Production of Rebecca Relies on Dataton’s WATCHOUT for Dramatic Backdrop

“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 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.”

Lars Sandlund, COO at Dataton, says: “With opera classics, musicals, contemporary drama, gala nights and guest performances all on the bill at Malmö Opera, the stage technology has to be both powerful and flexible. This production of ‘Rebecca’ really underlines the benefits of using digital scenography and, in particular, WATCHOUT.”

The reaction to “Rebecca” has been extremely 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.” 

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