The Santa Fe Opera House Reimagines and Revives its Audience Experience through Custom LCD Displays

By Keith Mitnik / November 14, 2019

Santa Fe Opera House Display


The Santa Fe Opera House is an American opera company, located just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. An outdoor opera house, they focus on delivering quality operatic performances and unforgettable experiences. Phoenix Display International had the opportunity to work with them on a recent project, and the results were remarkable. Here’s more about that project.


The Challenge: The Santa Fe Opera House Faced with Failing, Outdated Technology


Oftentimes, operas can be difficult for patrons to understand, since they usually sung in Italian and most patrons do not speak the language. So in 1999, the Santa Fe Opera House had a display technology system installed on all of its seatbacks so that audience members could read closed captions and better understand the story of the opera they were watching.


However, these were Vacuum Fluorescent Displays (VFDs), which meant they were monochrome and only showed the text in black and white. They also were emissive, so they generated their own light. While this system worked fairly well for about 15 years, the technology eventually began failing. The Santa Fe Opera House wanted its audience members to enjoy a rich experience but was about to be left without any functional seatback technology.


The Solution: Phoenix Display International Worked with the Opera House to Create a Custom Seatback Display System


The Santa Fe Opera House engaged Phoenix Display International to help them redesign and replace all the failing, outdated VFD displays. Their goals were to upgrade the technology, switch from monochrome to color and include a touch panel that offered more capabilities than the previous system did. Phoenix Display International worked with the Opera House’s IT department to develop a bar-style display with a touch panel and privacy screens to fit in the same envelope.


Furthermore, the new system includes more capabilities to provide additional content, advertising menu systems, controls, etc. The custom Electronic Libretto System (ELS) includes high-resolution, full-color LCD touchscreens for all 2,250 audience members in both seated and standing-room locations. Patrons can activate the translation system by touching the screen itself, and titles for all operas are available in English and Spanish. The entire Santa Fe Opera House is now outfitted with this custom ELS.

The Results: Improved Audience Experience & High Demand for the New Product


Phoenix Display International, in partnership with the Santa Fe Opera House, not only replicated the previous display product - but heavily improved upon it as well. Since implementing the new displays, audience members have been able to enjoy increased functionality and visibility, while the Opera House maintained its simple elegance of a slimline personal display. The success of this product has been so overwhelming, that other opera houses across the country are lining up to purchase them and outfit their own theatres with them.


Interested in a custom display that can improve your customer’s experience? Give us a call today so we can turn your vision into a reality!

Topics: Santa Fe Opera House, touch panel screen, full-color LCD touchscreens, custom LCD Display