Zoellner Arts Center Adopts Bolero Wireless Intercom

In one of its first U.S. installations, the all-new Bolero wireless intercom solution from Riedel Communications is providing comprehensive and reliable staff communications for Lehigh University’s Zoellner Arts Centre in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Introduced in 2017, Bolero is an expandable, DECT-based wireless intercom system in the license-free 1.9GHz frequency range.

As the home of Lehigh University’s music and theatre departments, the Zoellner Arts Center houses the 1,000-seat Baker Hall, the 300-seat Diamond Theater, and the 125-seat Fowler Black box informal theatre in addition to a two-story art gallery, state-of-the-art recording studio, and several large classrooms. Several key Bolero features allow the arts centre to save money without sacrificing coverage or quality over so many spaces. First, Riedel’s exclusive Advanced DECT Receiver (ADR) technology improves RF robustness by reducing sensitivity to multipath RF reflections. Then, the exceptional range and beltpack density of the AES67-networked antennas equate to fewer antennas.

“With all of our venues and spaces sharing the same technical infrastructure and equipment, we needed a crew communications system that could provide high-quality, wide coverage both inside and outside the arts centre. We also needed a solution that would be easy to use while providing seamless integration with our existing third-party partyline gear,” said Joshua Kovar, Production Manager, Zoellner Arts Centre. “Not only does Bolero meet these requirements, but now the communications in the theatres can be separated for concurrent performances as well as combined for large events that use all of the spaces.”

Fully integrated into Riedel’s Artist digital matrix intercom platform, Bolero offers a rich set of features and connectivity that can be applied three ways: as an exceptional wireless beltpack, as a wireless keypanel, and — in an industry first — as a walkie-talkie radio. The Zoellner Arts Center has taken the first approach, deploying 12 Bolero beltpacks to the production team. Bolero’s ADR technology enables full roaming for crew members across all three performance halls while a Riedel RiFace radio interface allows front-of-house staff, who use walkie-talkies, to easily communicate with Bolero users via the Artist.

“The Zoellner Arts Center is a showcase facility for the arts and a tremendous asset to the people of eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey, serving more than 55,000 people and counting every year,” said David Caulwell, Business Development, Eastern U.S. for Riedel North America. “As one of our early adopters of Bolero, the Zoellner Arts Center is also an outstanding example of the power of ADR for enabling bulletproof crew communications across a large and spread-out facility. We’re honored that Bolero was chosen for this landmark installation.”