Followspots are bright long-throw lighting fixtures manually operated by members of our stage crew and are used to highlight performers as they move around stage.
For almost all of the productions at Los Angeles Opera, we utilize between two and eight followspots in various locations. Most commonly these are located in the followspot booth at the top of the auditorium, at the back of the upper balcony.
View from stage looking at the followspot booth
View looking directly into followspots
It is over one hundred and thirty-five feet from the followspot booth to the front edge of the stage, at greater than a thirty-degree angle. The geometry of this makes movement highly sensitive, so with a few inches of action at the followspot, the beam moves dozens of feet onstage.
Operator point of view from followspot booth
The lead followspot operator works with the lighting designer during the rehearsal process to develop cues which are then conveyed to the additional followspot operators. Our followspot operators have many years of experience for this deceptively difficult task.
A followspot operator at work in the booth