A Zero 88 FLX lighting console has been chosen by Cardiff’s St David’s Hall venue, primarily to control lighting for the Foyer Stage (also known as the L3 Lounge).

The venue hosts a wide variety of shows and events encompassing all types of live performance, from R ‘n’ B, jazz, folk rock, and classical music to comedy, children’s shows, musicals, spoken word events, conferences, presentations and even darts competitions.

The FLX was selected by stage technician and main house lighting operator Emma Nicholson, who until recently was part of a technical team of five running all the in-house audio, lighting and staging requirements, which involved working with WIFI, CCTV, phone integration and other IT systems.

St David’s Hall has lighting rigs installed in all three of its main spaces and fixtures can be coloured and re-focused as needed to complement the performance. The main hall has a full moving light and stage rig which can be utilised by incoming productions, or they can even choose to bring in their own complete systems.

The Foyer Stage lighting rig comprises some moving wash lights and around 20 generics – a mix of PARs, profiles and fresnels, for which they needed a small, flexible user-friendly solution to ensure the potential of the lighting rig was maximised.

Emma first saw the FLX in action at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama where she also teaches. A console was being used for the moving light introduction module. Impressed with its power and simplicity she thought it would be ideal for lighting control at the Foyer Stage.

It also complimented the available budget which was approved by technical stage manager Dave Walker and deputy Paul Jones to make the purchase.

Emma left her post at St David’s Hall to focus fully on her family, so her successor as primary lighting operator, Hristo Takov, was also given the opportunity of trialling the FLX and having an input on the decision.

“We all liked the look of the desk – the physical faders and buttons and how instantly and easily switchable it was between a busking scenario and running a tightly pre-programmed show” Emma says, adding that the service from the Zero 88 team in Cwmbran was also excellent.

Talking more generally, Emma thinks the FLX – launched in 2015 and winner of a PLASA Innovation Award that same year– is definitely helping raise the profile of Zero 88 as a lighting control choice for a range of medium sized applications.

St David’s Hall’s new FLX was recently used for the biennial opera competition ‘BBC Cardiff Singer of the World’. Elements of the event including the final were staged at the venue and broadcast each night for a week, including a live highlights programme from the Level 3 lounge, featuring the sounds of 20 of the world’s finest young and emerging singers.

Andy Cottey was the lighting director for the live highlights programme and Emma operated the console.