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Wheeler Opera House Sings an Aria of Praise for Clear-Com®


Clear-Com Offers Dependable, Perennial Performance for Busy Facility 

Aspen CO, January 29, 2009 – Clear-Com® Communications, a Vitec Group brand, is helping staff at the historic Wheeler Opera House in Aspen stay connected throughout its packed programming cycle. Crew members and other workers at the magnificent, 503-seat Victorian-era building have relied on Clear-Com’s MS-440 4-channel base station and a WBS-6 wireless station with four belt packs for more than a decade, using the systems to coordinate communications throughout the facility’s key production areas.

“I’ve been in this business a good while and have always liked Clear-Com products,” says Gordon Wilder, Production Co-manager for the Wheeler Opera House. “The first show I ever did was in 1984, which was pretty much the year that the Wheeler Opera House reopened in its [current] remodeled state. It had Clear-Com products in the building then and we have been maintaining our relationship with Clear-Com ever since.”

The Clear-Com MS-440 and WBS-6 units work perfectly for the wide variety of programs presented at the opera house, offering clear, intelligible communication between light and sound in the rear of the auditorium, as well as for communication between stage managers and assistant stage managers using the wireless systems on stage and in the audience sections.

“For the type of programs that are produced, the theater requires a lot of assistant stage managers that need to roam freely about the stage,” adds Wilder. “Not being tethered to a wire and having the capability of moving about the facility greatly enhances our production value. It is of great benefit when you can offer the light designer the freedom to evaluate the impact of a design from different locations in the Wheeler Opera House without breaking conversation.”

Brad Spooner, Production Co-Manager for the Wheeler Opera House, notes that prior to the Clear-Com wireless units, communication between staff was a major challenge. “In the past, the designer was either tied to a fixed station that was not creatively convenient to assess a design or had no choice but to yell in order to make contact with the crew responsible for setting the lights. The wireless system allows the production team to stay focused on the different aspects of the work without interrupting the entire production to hail a light cue or audio setting.”

The 440 series is an advanced Clear-Com party-line intercom system. Each station is a four-channel intercom with superior audio and versatile channel access to provide unmatched communication flexibility. All front-panel controls are intuitive and easy to operate. The station’s front-panel buttons are programmable and can be customized for a wide variety of applications that will meet the demands of any stage, studio, or field producer. Separate volume controls for every channel ensure the perfect audio mix in the headset or on the integral speaker.

The Wheeler Opera House is the cultural gem of Aspen, providing year-round performances of everything from Broadway shows and rock concerts to comedy, film and four operas per year. One of the prime driving forces behind adding Clear-Com’s WBS-6 wireless station was the prestigious Aspen Music Festival and School, which is a partner in the Wheeler Opera House facility and is responsible for running the Aspen Opera Theater Company.

Originally constructed in 1889, The Wheeler Opera House features a classic proscenium-style space with balcony, finished wood and decorative gilding and is host to numerous programs including the John Denver Holiday Concert, David Brenner Presents: What’s So Funny?, along with some of the top entertainers such as Bernadette Peters, Arlo Guthrie, Lily Tomlin and Tom Rush, to name a few.

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