We interviewed Søren Bøllingtoft, head stage technician at the Royal Opera in Copenhagen.
For me, quality is first and foremost about creating a framework that makes my employees passionate about their work and inspires them to perform at their peak.
Once the curtain goes up for our performances, and you’re sitting in one of those soft seats out in the darkness and experiencing how the stories unfold in fantastical universe up on the stage, it’s not just the opera singers on stage or the musicians in the orchestra pit that make the project succeed - the technical staff that take care of the sound, lights, setting and everything else help create the magic and also play a crucial role in the success of the performance.
In that way, the opera house is an amazing house to work in: We moved in 14 years ago, in 2004, before the workmen were completely finished, and we helped rig it all up and learnt how the house works from scratch. From a technical point of view, the house is incredibly well-equipped with all the right gear - its state of the art with fully upgraded computer systems that provide the best opportunities for managing complex scene changes.
I have a team of 50 people under me on the stage crew - I’m self-taught, from a young age, there was no formal training to become a stage technician in Denmark. I worked as an apprentice electrician after leaving school, and when I had completed my apprenticeship I was asked if I wanted to make lights in a theatre. I jumped at the opportunity and ended up becoming part of the management team at Doktor Dante, and later, I became the production manager at Østre Gasværk. We put on a lot of exciting performances there in the 1990s.