The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) at at Edith Cowan University in Mount Lawley (Australia) recently migrated its production communications infrastructure to a Riedel Communications Bolero wireless intercom system that serves performance crews at both on-campus and off-site venues.
WAAPA provides a range of specialized performing arts training. “Over the course of our academic year, we stage around 25 key productions of musicals, plays, dance, jazz, and classical concerts. With such a busy production schedule, a dependable communications infrastructure is paramount in the successful delivery of each show,” says Cameron Malacari, production manager at WAAPA. “When our previous systems reached the end of its useful life for supporting multiple productions, we had two choices: reduce our production capabilities — which simply wasn’t an option — or invest in state-of-the-art technology. Bolero is an outstanding choice, giving us newfound flexibility and reliably clear, concise, and portable communications.”
The academy’s previous hard-wired system for production communication between technical crew such as lighting, sound, stage managers, and mechanists was obsolete to the point that it has an average of 50 hours of downtime annually. Coupled with maintenance delays, it was hampering the school’s ability to stage modern productions. In addition, student learning hours were affected as staff triaged the breakdowns in communication. The previous communications setup was also costly, supported by two discreet for-hire systems that racked up substantial annual equipment costs and additional fees for associated support.
The new Bolero wireless system provides a streamlined and reliable communications infrastructure that works well for both on-campus and off-campus productions, with wireless operation removing the problem of cable entanglements with machinery such as fly-lines and large, moving trucks. Because the installation is designed around a facility-wide backbone, the system is already in place to enable on-the-fly communications between two venues as needed without additional hardware and with only minimal configuration changes.
“With Bolero, we’ve eliminated several annual hire costs, and we can receive convenient support from Riedel in our own time zone. If we need additional equipment, Riedel can provide it on a rental basis to help us keep our total cost of ownership down,” says Tim Landauer, venue services coordinator at WAAPA. “Riedel’s experience in major performing arts venues, theaters, and universities across Australia was invaluable in helping us optimize the system design.”