Issue 25

TDC Celebrates Summer At Sydney Festival

Use of laser projection technology sets continued focus on sustainability.


13 January 2023

Sydney is back and evidence of its uniquely Australian celebration of summer will be an unprecedented line up of artists’ work at Sydney Festival. TDC – Technical Direction Company, award-winning provider of event and entertainment technology solutions and sponsor of Sydney Festival, is excited to announce its biggest involvement yet in the preeminent city-wide celebration of culture, creativity and live performance.

Its team of technicians has been busy preparing creative design technology and projection mapping expertise showcased at multiple events across Sydney from 5 to 29 January 2023 including festival highlights featuring iconic feminist Frida Kahlo, and mythic new opera epic Antarctica.

Chris Fitzgerald, TDC Technical Project Manager said, “We are very excited to be a Sydney Festival partner once again in 2023. Organising and coordinating our sponsorship of Sydney Festival required extensive site surveys, scheduling, dealing with weather changes, and attention to detail. It also gave us a unique opportunity for us to work in collaboration with some leading artists from all over the world using the latest projection mapping techniques and LED technology. We are proud to be involved and can’t wait to see audiences react to the wonderful experience.”

To provide visitors with the most incredible immersive experience and continuing TDC’s commitment to sustainability, TDC has deployed the latest addition to its inventory the Barco G62-W11 laser projector which operate on a fraction of the energy used in lamp-based counterparts.

Michael Hasset, Founder and Managing Director of TDC said, “We worked to a specification and used laser projectors that were reliable, and gave considerable brightness”.

Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon

For the first time in Australia, a unique biographical exhibition allows you to better understand Frida Kahlo, the woman whose perseverance, rebellion, and talent placed her eons ahead of her time.

Co-created by the Frida Kahlo Corporation and the renowned Spanish digital arts company Layers of Reality, this multi-sensory experience features nine transformational spaces: from collections of historical photographs and original films; captivating holography; 360-degree projections; to a virtual reality system that will transport visitors inside Kahlo’s most famous works. Barco G62-W11 laser projectors were rigged by a bespoke TDC system and played back using the latest high-powered media servers.

“There are seamless floor and wall projections and unusual projection surfaces which took around a week of installation to set up and install,” Fitzgerald explained. “In creating the project, we worked closely with the Frida Kahlo Corporation and Layers of Reality to deliver a quick turnaround in a matter of weeks. We opted for laser because the technology lifts the colour and resolution of the projections and does so with a reduction in energy consumption.”

“Our clients are looking for greener, more energy efficient technology and TDC was able to deliver that for Frida Kahlo. Compared to lamp based projection, laser projector technology uses much less cooling, they have less moving parts and are a more robust system. Also, the longevity of laser is far greater and the image produced is very uniform and stable,” added Drew Ferors, Head of Technical Services at TDC.


A magnificent new opera by Australian composer Mary Finsterer and librettist Tom Wright will be performed on home soil for the first-time during Sydney Festival 2023, featuring renowned Dutch new music ensemble, Asko|Schönberg. Finsterer’s intriguing blend of Renaissance-inspired and contemporary music styles is performed on a brilliant, futuristic digital set the backdrop for which is a 12m x 9m Roe BQ4 Black Quartz LED wall specified, supplied and installed by TDC. The opera’s fascinating musical palette is amplified by the sounds of the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic itself. The LED screen is used as a set piece as well as an animated display whereby performers can enter and exit the stage through walkways created within the screen.

Francis Smith, Technical Project Manager of TDC commented, “Antarctica is a fantastic immersive experience for which we adapted an installation from the debut performance in The Netherlands. The screen sits in front of the scaffolding with elements of the set emerging onto stage through cut outs. Not only did the screen have to perfectly accommodate the cut outs, the design specified there would be nothing to physically connect the screen to the scaffolding. We elected to design using the new ROE BQ4.6 as it was the strongest and sturdiest for a screen that size and that weight. Having the vertical bracing built into the LED panels themselves helped with structural integrity, thus keeping everything safe for performers and audience alike.”

TDC is supporting numerous additional Festival experiences including at the emotive re-awakening of the spirit in VIRGIL: AWAKEN held looking across the shoreline and at the precious island Me-Mel (Formerly Goat Island), at Barangaroo Reserve and for the projection of Dyin Hura (Women’s Place) on the façade of the oldest surviving public building, Old Government House in Parramatta Park.

Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon

Photo Credit: Wendell Teodoro

Sydney Festival:
Technical Direction Company:


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