A new lighting concept for La Monnaie

After two years of work, Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie is sporting new finery, including a brand new lighting system for the auditorium, stage and wings. A new lighting concept designed and realised by ENGIE Fabricom. Places, please!

ENGIE Fabricom verlichting De Munt éclairage La Monnaie jbc sli
ENGIE Fabricom verlichting De Munt éclairage La Monnaie jbc sli
ENGIE Fabricom verlichting De Munt éclairage La Monnaie jbc sli

‘Pinocchio’, the new opera by Philippe Boesmans, will kick off the 2017-2018 season at La Monnaie on September 5. No, our nose won’t grow if we tell you the lighting used in the opera will not only be magical and magnificent, but also economical! Because this well-respected opera and dance in Belgium will also be debuting a brand new lighting system developed by ENGIE Fabricom.

More than 1,500 LEDs

“The entire stage lighting system was overhauled”, confirms Pieter Van Haegenbergh, Project Manager at ENGIE Fabricom. “The spotlights, moving lights and more. We also reworked the entire lighting system in the auditorium and wings.” Some 1,500 40 W halogen lamps in the auditorium were replaced by LED lamps. As were the lamps in the majestic chandelier that dominates the room.

“Saving energy was a key component in the project to renovate the theatre”, stresses Gérard Maraite, the man in charge of lighting at La Monnaie. “LED lighting ensured that we could reduce our consumption of electricity while also extending the service life of our lighting system. ENGIE’s technical expertise was crucial because we had to re-use as much of the old wiring for the new electrical and lighting systems as possible. La Monnaie is a listed building; we can’t just drill out new wiring conduits wherever we want.”

Constructive collaboration

Special attention was also paid to emergency lighting, areas where people move about in the auditorium, and lighting in stairwells – all of which must remain on during performances.

“ENGIE Fabricom also provided constructive collaboration on lighting for the wings”, says a delighted Gérard Maraite. “The challenge was to provide lighting which the audience would not see, but which would be enough for the actors and technicians to operate safely during performances. Following our discussions with ENGIE’s experts, we opted for a system of small lights that are white during rehearsals and blue during performances.”

While ENGIE played an active role in the new lighting for La Monnaie, it also provided additional support – as part of its corporate social responsibility policy – for ‘A Bridge Between Two Worlds’, a project designed to help socially, economically and medically vulnerable members of society build and rebuild social ties, while providing access to culture, music and opera.

Their smiles will further illuminate the La Monnaie auditorium at upcoming workshops, visits and performances.

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