In the daylight, it stood as a beautiful piece of architecture, but at night, the Royal Swedish Opera house was transformed into Dracula’s gothic castle. With the use of projection and sound technology, Isak Gabre, the former systems and project manager at the Royal Swedish Opera, and his team gave the house’s stately exterior an impressive revamp. Vines crawled up the sides of the stone façade, blood cascaded down to mask the pale exterior, and men climbed the opera’s pillars during this eerie projection to promote the world premiere of Victoria Borisova-Ollas’ opera Dracula.

Introducing: Isak Gabre, Spotlight Expert

Gabre and his team use Vectorworks Spotlight for every show.

– My work is mainly as a light board operator and we do renderings or openGL as far into the process as possible, inserting all scenery models into the Opera House model in Vectoworks, where we can see the scenery on the actual stage and in the actual house, said Gabre. For all the shows, we make drawings and insert models from set designers and our workshops into Vectorworks and do the setup of scenery and fixtures. Then we use the built-in export function to export scenery drawings and the Spotlight plugin for grandMA2 to export show specifics into the lighting control system.

The program’s visualization capabilities are some of the most beneficial aspects of Vectorworks Spotlight for Gabre and his team.

– We usually don’t have the time to do creative experimenting on stage, said Gabre. If the clients can be shown their own models and design together with an accurate model of the theater right in Vectorworks, rather than on paper, and have the ability to look at angles and entrances and set design on screen, or through VR or AR, that’s a great benefit for us.

Vectorworks saved us a lot of time and helped make very clear what we wanted to do with this projection. Gabre’s expertise with Vectorworks Spotlight helped him execute the exterior projections for Dracula in a short time frame. 

– We had about five weeks from the first production meeting until the show’s premiere, said Gabre. Our marketing department wanted to make the premiere special and started brainstorming with my department manager, Patrik Becker, who has a great deal of experience with projections and cinema. He suggested that they should go for a façade projection.


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