New stage management system for the Düsseldorf Opera House

15. June 2021

SALZBRENNER media equips Deutsche Oper Düsseldorf with one of the most advanced media systems available on the market.

Opernhaus Düsseldorf Zuschauerraum © HansJörg Michel

The Düsseldorf Opera House, which in its present form dates from the mid-1950s, with a seating capacity of over 1,250 and a stage 20 metres wide and equally high, is considered one of the most distinctive venues in the German cultural landscape.

Demands on the in-house technical infrastructure are correspondingly high, and this is especially true of the stage manager’s workplace, which is the focal point of every production. As part of the renewal of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein media system, the system integrator SALZBRENNER media, under the leadership of the planning office Walter Kottke (BWKI), was commissioned to manufacture and install a modern and future-proof stage management system in 2020.

Systematic competence

The new heart of the system, which has been specially tailored to the requirements of the versatile venue, is a powerful control processor unit including all the necessary interface and automation options, attached to which is a highly flexible stage management console. Thanks to the completely mobile console design, the system can be operated on either side of the stage, as required. The console system, custom-made by SALZBRENNER media, is complemented by a wired and wireless intercom system with a multi-channel matrix from system supplier Riedel, which can currently address up to 50 wireless receivers and 14 stationary units in parallel. During the course of the modernisation the control room, located on the fourth floor of the opera house, was also equipped with the latest video and audio programming capabilities and integrated seamlessly into the overall system. Smooth communication and data transmission throughout the building is guaranteed by state-of-the-art cabling consisting of a Gigabit Cat control network, fibre-optic cabling, a digital 3G-SDI video network and extended audio infrastructure including a redundant Dante network for cross-system audio distribution.

Multimedia control at the highest level

Real-time control with the lowest possible latency is one of the essential cornerstones of a professional stage-management system, and its development and implementation is one of SALZBRENNER media’s particular areas of expertise. For the new installation, a technologically trend-setting HD monitoring system individually designed to meet the customer’s needs was employed, with a total latency of less than 30ms, paired with the necessary controller integration and fast-reacting 9″ to 40″ monitors. Equipped with a scene display and full control integration of the rehearsal sound system in the hall, which is independent of the main sound system, the installation ensures reliable monitoring and call system functionality in every situation, enabling perfect communication integration of all relevant areas from the artists’ dressing rooms to the lounges and the canteen. The setup is supplemented by a bell system for the corridor areas which has a greatly expanded range of functions. Playback devices can now be integrated completely wirelessly, both from the stage manager’s console and directly from the control room. A flexible and completely IP-based cue light system with both wired and wireless cue lights also ensures that not only the ensemble but also the entire crew is kept constantly up to date during rehearsal and performances.

The complete renewal of the stage management system as well as the additional installation of a SALZBRENNER media Stagecast workstation with three selectable integrated video signals, editing software and a modern media server connection have significantly and sustainably optimised essential workflow processes at the Düsseldorf Opera House.


Auditorium Düsseldorf Opera House © Hans Jörg Michel
Düsseldorf Opera House © Jens Wegener
Stage management console © Thomas Gabbert
Central control room © Thomas Gabbert

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