Dutch National Opera & Ballet upgrades to Clear-Com FreeSpeak II

The Dutch National Opera & Ballet (NO&B) has upgraded its wireless intercom system to Clear-Com’s FreeSpeak II system for critical communication between production crew throughout its Amsterdam venue, the Stopera. The new system, which includes 70 FreeSpeak II beltpacks and 35 FreeSpeak II Antennas, was supplied by AudioPro Netherlands.

“NO&B was one of the first theatres to adopt Clear-Com’s original FreeSpeak Integra solution around 12 years ago. While FreeSpeak still served us well, it was due for an upgrade,” said Hans-Willem de Haan, AV director, NO&B. “Furthermore, we needed to expand the wireless comms network to support more users on a single system. FreeSpeak II not only deliver this, but the new FreeSpeak II beltpack is very impressive and offers a number of unique capabilities that was not previously available in the original system such as the extended 18-hour battery life, real-time battery status monitoring, ‘listen-again’ audio memory and technician’s flash light on the rear side. These features are highly beneficial to our theatre productions. For these reasons, FreeSpeak II was the obvious choice when it came to upgrading the system.”

NO&B’s complete intercom system consists of an Eclipse HX matrix system, four E-Que cards and 32 V-Series user panels, as well as 70 integrated FreeSpeak II Integra beltpacks and 35 Active Antennas. The expansive system is deployed throughout the theatre, including the stage and back-stage areas, dressing rooms, offices, lobby and workshop.

Mr de Haan added: “Clear-Com has always provided us with outstanding customer service and support. Over the last 12 years we have given Clear-Com a lot of positive and constructive feedback about our original FreeSpeak system, and the Clear-Com team has stayed continuously engaged with me. I am very pleased to see that our feedback was considered and addressed in FreeSpeak II.”

FreeSpeak II is the enhanced DECT-based wireless intercom that was uniquely designed for deployment across large-scale, multi-zone production areas. Operating in the license-free 1.897-1.933GHz bands, FreeSpeak II delivers improved roaming capability for reliable wireless connections, superior digital ‘Clear-Com Sound’ for clear intelligibility and ultimate audio comfort, and innovative intercom features that make it a high performance wireless option.

Vincent Beek, regional sales manager, Clear-Com, said: “We have a longstanding and highly valued relationship with the AV team at NO&B. The first FreeSpeak II test in a European theatre was carried out here, and their feedback has been extremely valuable. We are delighted that FreeSpeak solution will continue to be their system of choice for many more years to come.”

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