The French concert version of “Phantom of the Opera” musical has debuted in Montreal and Quebec City where Lighting Designer Jean-Francois Couture, of Montreal’s La Boîte à Lumière, utilized a full-size grandMA3 console for lighting control. ACT Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting products in North America. Couture has used grandMA lighting consoles for the last two decades. “Phantom of the Opera” was his first experience with the grandMA3, which he ran using grandMA3 software.
The system was provided by Francis Giguère of Omnison, Montreal. In late 2019 Couture taught himself the grandMA3 “using the same process as when I switched from the grandMA to grandMA2: building the show, watching tutorials, using my WYSIWYG system,” he recalls. “When I learned the grandMA2 and could achieve everything I wanted with it, I realized the new model was pushing me creatively in different directions. The desk was taking me somewhere else. That’s the same feeling I had when I was programming ‘Phantom of the Opera’ on the grandMA3.” While he experienced the same kind of learning curve as when he migrated to the grandMA2, Couture says, “overall, the new desk was not that difficult to learn. I did not have to rethink the whole process.” For the “Phantom of the Opera” productions, Couture controlled about 130 moving fixtures. “We had a lot of different fixtures for key lights, back lights, and scenic lights,” he explains. “There was a semi-transparent curtain that flew in and out with light projecting onto it to create set pieces.”