116-11 Lohr, 2011-10-21

Modern Technology behind Historical Walls

Bolschoi Theater

Bolschoi Theater

Bolschoi Theater Boasts Extremely Flexible Stage Technology

After six years of complex renovation work, Moscow will celebrate the reopening of its world-famous Bolschoi Theater in fall 2011. As general contractor for the extremely powerful and flexible stage technology, Bosch Rexroth AG has planned, installed and put into operation more than 600 electrical and hydraulic drives, as well as stage control equipment for the over- and understate machinery.

It will be show business as usual once the Bolschoi Theater, which has been declared a World Heritage Site, re-opens. Theater fans can discover sophisticated, state-of-the-art stage technology behind the fully retained historical facade, which dates from 1825. The external dimensions of the building had to remain unchanged during the renovation, and so the stage area was completely gutted and a new room was built for the stage technology. The stage pit, for example, which holds the stage platforms, is now more than 20 meters deep.

The seven large stage platforms manage to impress, even before the curtain has risen for the first performance: Each platform has two levels and is 22 meters long, 3 meters wide and 10 meters high. Each platform weighs approximately 70 tons. The hydraulic drives move smoothly up and down over a distance of 16 meters at a speed of up to 0.7 meters per second. And none of this can be heard in the auditorium: Not only is the hydraulic unit extremely quiet, but Rexroth has also placed it as far away from the audience as possible in the lowest part of the basement.

The overstage machinery has a variety of functions. For example, a winch can raise up to one ton at a comparatively high speed of up to 1.8 meters per second. The spectator, meanwhile, must not be able to hear anything at all from the drives during the movement. For this reason, very quiet machine technology is used here too in combination with effective sound insulation to prevent disruptive noises. An additional challenge is to ensure absolute safety: Artists and stage personnel may be on stage while heavy loads are being moved above them. Sophisticated sensors and numerous software functionalities in the Rexroth stage control system ensure that dangerous situations do not arise.

Rexroth has already modernized the stage technology in a number of historical opera houses and has also equipped new buildings such as the China National Grand Theater in Beijing and the Oslo Opera House.

Bosch Rexroth AG is one of the world’s leading specialists in the field of drive and control technologies. Under the Rexroth brand name, the company supplies more than 500,000 customers with tailored solutions for driving, controlling, and moving. Bosch Rexroth is a partner for Mobile Applications, Machinery Applications and Engineering, Factory Automation and Renewable Energies. The company provides customized solutions tailored to the needs and specifications of each individual market. As The Drive & Control Company, Bosch Rexroth develops, produces, and sells components and systems in over 80 countries. As part of the Bosch Group, Bosch Rexroth and its 34,900 associates generated approximately 5.1 billion euros in revenue in 2010.

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The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, some 285,000 associates generated sales of 47.3 billion euros in fiscal 2010. For 2011, the company forecasts sales of more than 50 billion euros and a headcount of a good 300,000 by the end of the year. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 350 subsidiaries and regional companies in over 60 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Bosch spent 3.8 billion euros for research and development in 2010, and applied for over 3,800 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial.

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Image 1: Behind the scenes: Five vertically adjustable light bridges with multi-component lighting frames illuminate the main stage

Image 2: The telescopic side lights can be moved both vertically and horizontally and illuminate the scenery on the side stage

Image 3: View to the flies: Lines running up the fly tower are used to raise and lower parts of the stage set from the stage ceiling

Image 4: After six years of careful restoration work, the auditorium bathes in its former glory once again


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Susanne Herzlieb
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97816 Lohr am Main
Phone: +49 9352 18-1573