World-class in-house technical infrastructure for the home of M-Net’s The Voice South Africa.

The Mosaiek Church, situated in Roodepoort, Johannesburg, recently made significant strides in achieving its ambition to raise its flagship venue, the Mosaiek Teatro, to world-class technical standards. Highly respected audio engineer and current head of technical at the church, Estian Els, spoke with ETECH about the recent upgrades to the lighting, sound and control rig at the venue.

A unique offering

Els explains that when the Mosaiek Church moved from a modest 800-seater venue in Randburg to their new facilities in Roodepoort, they wanted to establish a world-class venue that would meet all of the needs of its growing congregation. At the same time, the church wanted to expand their capacity to support a wide range of outreach projects aimed at improving the lives of people in the community. It was soon realised that by hiring out the Mosaiek Teatro to third parties, the church could diversify its revenue stream, which would – in turn – strengthen its ability to fund missionary work.

The business model has proven highly successful, and over the past 15 years, the Mosaiek Teatro has hosted an impressive number of high-profile productions and live events. “The Mosaiek Teatro has become a firm favourite for a number of South Africa’s leading production and events companies because the venue provides a well-equipped and secure environment to host audiences, while being perfectly set up for filming,” Els points out.

M-Net first used the Mosaiek Teatro for the live broadcast of the performance rounds of the reality TV series SA Idols in 2009, and the venue soon became popularly known as “the home of Idols” after hosting the final rounds four times. In 2017, M-Net produced the second season of the critically acclaimed reality TV singing contest The Voice South Africa, and they elected to film the final performance rounds at the Mosaiek Teatro. M-Net will be returning to the venue for the finals of the third season of The Voice SA in May 2019.

A world-class venue

When Mosaiek was established in the early 2000s, church management decided to invest in the highest-quality technical rig for their flagship venue, in order to achieve the highest production standards possible for their services.

“Our vision for the Mosaiek Teatro is for it to become a world-class theatre, that offers a turnkey solution for live event and broadcast productions,” Els explains. “There are many venues in the Johannesburg area, and we want to differentiate ourselves by providing a safe, family-friendly environment for audiences while ensuring that artists and their crew can simply arrive at the venue, plug in and put on a world-class show.”

According to Els, the decision to upgrade the technical infrastructure at the Mosaiek Teatro was largely driven by this goal. “The rig at the Mosaiek Teatro has been in almost daily operation for 15 years, and while our initial investment has served us well, it was time for us to update our theatre infrastructure – especially as smarter, more energy-efficient products have become available and are increasingly being requested. We also wanted to ensure that the in-house technology was rider-friendly for both local and international artists,” Els explains.

As a result, the Mosaiek Teatro has made significant investments in new lighting fixtures, lighting control as well as a state-of-the-art PA system from d&b, all of which will be operational by the time that the season three finale of The Voice South Africa begins filming at the venue.