Raise the Curtain on the Revamped Operettenhaus Hamburg - with Stage Technology from Pfaff-silberblau


Pfaff-silberblau replaced all the fly machinery of the traditional musical theatre in the heart of St. Pauli in record time.

Friedberg, November 8, 2007 - The time frame was ever so small: The Pfaff-silberblau Hebezeugfabrik GmbH, Derching/Friedberg, Germany, had little more than three months in which to convert the fly machinery of the renowned "Operettenhaus Hamburg." The client was Stage Entertainment, one of the leading companies in international live entertainment, for which Pfaff-silberblau has already handled several complex stage machinery projects. Under difficult conditions, the stage technology specialists from Friedberg installed 25 tonnes of structural steel, 7,5 kilometres of special wire ropes, 300 pulley blocks with almost 700 pulleys and 27 electrical rope winches, with an ultimate load of 900 kilograms each, in the traditional theatre on the Reeperbahn. The refurbishment has now been completed and the Operettenhaus Hamburg is radiant in its new technical splendour before the world premiere of the eagerly awaited Udo Jirgens musical "Ich war noch niemals in New York."

Up to now this was one of the most extensive refurbishments of a musical theatre for which Stage Entertainment had ever placed an order. The Operettenhaus Hamburg is considered to be the birthplace of the German musical, since this is where the German premiere of the highly acclaimed musical "Cats" took place in 1986. For the intricate high-tech set of "Ich war noch niemals in New York", the latest rope winches and manual counterweight systems were fitted, the machinery level were fitted with a new grid whilst all of the fly machinery of the stage were upgraded to the latest state-of-the-art where stage technology is concerned.

In an initial stage, the engineers from Pfaff-silberblau, together with a structural analysis office in Hamburg, jointly developed a concept for the reinforcement of the existing steel structure in the roof and the structural displacement of the fly grid. Numerous details needed to be taken into account, for example the non-uniformly distributed load of the steel structure above the stage, which mainly arises in the front sector during musical productions. It was also essential to deal with the designed "historical loads" of the existing structures. For example, the existing steel structure was deemed to be unsuitable for welding due to its age, so that all the connections between the existing and new structures had to be cramped or bolted.

Due to the strict time specifications, the conversion work started during the current season in June: During the day, the technicians from Pfaff-silberblau were busy above the stage of the Operettenhaus, whilst the artistic ensemble presented the popular musical "Mamma Mia!" in the evening without interruption. By the end of the season in September, the historical equipment had been removed, all of the reinforcing steel construction had been installed, all the pulley blocks were fitted in place, all steel ropes were laid and the various special point drops for transformations on time had been installed.

This was followed within two weeks by the successive installation and commissioning of 27 DELTA wire rope winches by Pfaff-silberblau on the fly grid. Each one of these proven winches weighs around 800 kilograms, which had to be securely fitted above the stage. They are used for reliably supporting and quickly changing the set and the structures on the stage when necessary. Each one of the centrally controlled wire rope winches lifts a maximum weight of 900 kilograms at a velocity of up to 1,2 metres per second. The engineers of Pfaff-silberblau were assisted by the firm of Filling & Partner, the long-term control designer of the company, which was responsible for the control system provided by the customer. The technical structures were rounded off with adapted load bars on the steel ropes of the winches for a special take-up of the scenery for the premiere of the new musical.

On 2 December 2007, the curtain will then rise for the premiere of the musical "Ich war noch niemals in New York" in the Operettenhaus Hamburg. The special guest on the evening will be: The state-of-the-art fly machinery from Pfaff-silberblau.

About Pfaff-silberblau

The Pfaff-silberblau Group, which is based in Derching/Friedberg, Germany, is one of the technological leaders in the fields of hoisting machinery and material handling equipment, actuator technology/worm gear screw jacks, and road & rail technology. Pfaff-silberblau Hebezeugfabrik GmbH offers high quality conveying equipment and long-lasting lifting gear for multifarious use in logistics and operation. Where actuator technology is concerned, Pfaff-silberblau is noted for outstanding engineering solutions and a wide variety of modular systems for the most diverse requirements from the linear drive engineering sector.

The Pfaff-silberblau Group employs over 300 people and is represented worldwide through six national subsidiaries as well as numerous regional representatives.
Further information at www.pfaff-silberblau.de

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