New National Theatre, Tokyo Chooses Robert Juliat LED Oz Followspots

by Stage Directions
The Pit (small theater) at New National Theatre, Tokyo © Photo provided by New National Theatre, Tokyo
The Pit (small theater) at New National Theatre, Tokyo © Photo provided by New National Theatre, Tokyo

The New National Theatre, Tokyo (NNTT) has invested in a stock of Robert Juliat Oz 600W LED followspots for its three performance spaces. The new LED models replace conventional source followspots as part of an upgrade of the lighting inventory for this internationally important arts venue. New National Theatre, Tokyo is Japan’s foremost national theater and its only one dedicated to the contemporary performing arts of opera, ballet, dance and drama. The NNTT complex comprises the Opera Palace, Playhouse, and The Pit, and hosts over 300 performances a year to around 200,000 theater goers.

Four of Robert Juliat’s Oz 7°-14° LED Top Control followspots were supplied by RJ distributor, Sogo Butai, initially for use in the small Pit Theatre, but also with the intention of relocating them to the larger spaces of the Playhouse and Opera Palace as needed. This demonstrates the versatility of this punchy zoom fixture whose 600W cool white LED light source is capable of generating an output equal to 1,200W discharge fixtures.
Robert Juliat Oz in The Pit at New National Theatre, Tokyo © RJ Industry Japan

“Because of its silent operation, Oz is extremely suitable for the open space within the smaller Pit Theatre,” says Takehito Suzuki, from NNTT’s technical department for lighting. “In venues like those of the New National Theatre, where many theatrical shows and contemporary dance performances are presented, we found Oz is the best followspot for lighting the performers at every distance.”

Suzuki also stresses that Oz was chosen because, above all others, its quality met the high standards of the New National Theatre, Tokyo; its Top Control option was a prime example of this, enabling the operators to control both the dimming and iris smoothly and easily from the top of the fixture. “Amongst many LED followspots, what makes this fixture most remarkable is the Top Control,” Suzuki says. “I find it so finely designed that the operation is a pleasure. I’m impressed by the minimum size of the iris shutter as well; the accuracy of the iris cassette is really incredible - it is great to see how RJ can make a spot so tiny that it seems like a hole pierced by a needle. We can see the real RJ quality in these kinds of details.”
Opera Palace at New National Theatre, Tokyo © Photo provided by New National Theatre, Tokyo

NNTT’s followspot operators agree and have enjoyed using the new arrivals, commenting: “Oz is highly operational with the double function of incredibly smooth dimming and iris control with the top controls. The body is well designed with a good balance of functionality, which makes it an extremely operator-friendly fixture.”

NNTT is familiar with Robert Juliat, having invested in Robert Juliat profiles when it first opened its doors in 1997. “Since the beginning we have used Robert Juliat Athos 914SNX and 910SNX profiles,” says Suzuki. “At the time these fixtures with discharge lamps were fully appreciated and loved by every lighting designer who used them. They played important roles in so many performances as a key element of the lighting designs.”
Playhouse at New National Theatre, Tokyo © Photo provided by New National Theatre, Tokyo

Suzuki continues, “The majority of New National Theatre profiles are still halogen-based, although most manufacturers are stopping production of these models, and we need to find new fixtures with alternative sources before these become outmoded. So, we are now interested in LED sources which are powerful enough to match halogen fixtures, and Robert Juliat is already ahead of the game with LED models that perform as well as discharge fixtures.”

Further information from Robert Juliat: www.robertjuliat.com