The Jands Vista L5 lighting console played a major role at a special event to mark the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Sydney Opera House.

As part of the celebrations, Crown Prince Frederik and Australian-born Crown Princess Mary of Denmark visited the Harbour City to honour the Danish architect Jørn Utzon’s crowning achievement. 

In a co-operative effort between SBS, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, the royal couple and the charitable Bikuben Foundation, their Highnesses presented the annual Crown Prince Couples Awards at the Joan Sutherland Theatre.

The awards were established by the Bikuben Foundation as a wedding gift for the royal couple and celebrate Danish excellence in arts, culture and society. 

The creative teams behind the television series The Killing and Borgen received the Cultural award, while violinist Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen and singer-songwriter MØ aka Karen Marie Ørsted both received the Rising Star award for young musicians. Volunteer organisation Natteravnene (Night Owls) received the Society award for their work with young people. Australia’s Gurrumul and Diesel performed alongside 2013 Rising Star winners and past winner Oh Land, while Julia Zemiro co-hosted the show. 

Lighting Director Gavan Swift was tasked with bringing the ceremony in on top of current show-in-residence South Pacific. The Sunday before the show saw the crew stripping out part of the musical’s set, bringing in a semi-trailer full of extra lighting from Chameleon and setting up a ‘black box’ TV studio environment with trussing and black masking.

Gavan chose to run the show from a Jands Vista L5 console. A long time user of the Vista platform, he knew the desk had the usability and features he needed to build a show with such a tight schedule. Describing the Vista as his go-to-console for any kind of live concert or event-style lighting, Gavan said he ran the Helpmann awards on Vista for five years, and used it on gigs such as APEC and Concerts in the Domain. 

With no pre-programming time, Gavan came in at 7 AM on the morning of the ceremony, exported a CSV file from South Pacific’s ETC Eos and imported the patch into the L5. He plugged the Vista into the theatre’s Ethernet network and had complete control of South Pacific’s channels. Rehearsal started at 9 AM, and Gavan began with no cues built.

According to Gavan, with the combination of time pressure and the lighting doing dual duty as set, the Vista L5’s ergonomics and speed of workflow were integral in getting the show up to international broadcast standard. 

The L5 console’s timing features are a huge drawcard for Gavan, especially the ability to select something, contract the time, spread out the fanning and have moving light effects in an instant. He finds the lighting console much more intuitive, quick and easy to create the right look for these shows.