Glyndebourne is recognised globally as one of the great opera houses. Its productions travel worldwide, are performed live in other opera houses and screened in cinemas from New York to Tokyo. Yet it remains a very English institution.
Its global reputation stems from a passion for artistic excellence. Founder John Christie insisted on doing "not the best we can do but the best that can be done anywhere". For over 75 years, that has remained Glyndebourne's touchstone.
Glyndebourne's commitment to quality has earned it a loyal following and its reputation enables it to attract the world's finest artists. Today, its Festival and Tour present over 110 performances each year, to some 150,000 people.
Simon Yapp (Digital Media Technical Producer) has worked for the Glyndebourne Festival Opera for nine years during which time he has been involved in the AV and lighting for over 60 operas, six Glyndebourne opera tours, in-house recitals and has designed the lighting for education and development projects. During his time running Glyndebourne’s Audio Visual department Simon not only provided technical support for show effects and all communications; he also put in place a state of the art video recording and editing facility. This now enables directors and designers to have immediate replay access of their rehearsals and shows at any stage of a performance.
The Matrox MXO2 LE MAX is used by Glyndebourne to produce up to 40 short films a season.
“At Glyndebourne, operas are filmed on HDCAM and it’s not financially viable for us to buy and maintain our own tape deck, so the MXO2 LE MAX can link to a hired deck and capture high quality HD operas into our edit systems. The key thing is that it enables us to record in a variety of video compression formats - i.e. store played-in material in Apple Pro Res HQ or any codec of our choice”.
Whilst working on Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” last summer Simon says,
“We had a truck on site recording the opera live and the MXO2 LE MAX enabled us to take a copy of the HD SDI feed from the truck, straight to the edit system. This meant we could start the edit of the DVD extras immediately using the material recorded live, without the time delay of a tape process. The conventional method would have been for the truck to supply HDCAM tapes for off-site conversion into edit assets”.
“The MXO2 LE MAX cut out a lot of unnecessary expense and delays in the process of getting the footage from the OB truck to the Final Cut system. Also, at the end of the edit process it enabled us to export the final timeline into H264 in real time using its in-box MAX H.264 accelerator. This external task done by the MXO2 LE MAX avoids placing any large computing loads on the editing system’s processors, thus enabling the Editor to continue working uninterrupted on other material”.
In the summer season Simon, together with a small in-house producing team, is involved in conducting interviews during rehearsal periods, creating short, informative films for cinema screenings, DVD extras and the Glyndebourne website. He says, “When we’re making these films we need to provide many draft exports for approval from management and/or Senior Directors. The MXO2 LE MAX helps us to get these exports ready in real time, so it saves a huge amount of time”.
“Finally it has to be said the Matrox unit is tough and clearly built to a high standard. This means it can be taken out on location and used for its capture and conversion abilities on site with no fear of it breaking etc. An additional advantage is that it can connect into both vehicle power and external batteries”…
“With all its features - from importing from a variety of sources, providing a live, full-resolution preview window from your edit timeline; exporting in real time; as well as being a high quality product, the Matrox MXO2 LE MAX is not only very versatile, it’s invaluable to us for our workflow… just like Glyndebourne opera, it produces the best quality possible”.