Stage and orchestra pit
The most radical alterations made by architects URBAT and A.2R.C during the 1985-86 renovation work were to the stage. The nine-storey stage tower was completely dismantled and reconstructed within the existing walls. To facilitate set changes, the old system of pulleys and hand-operated tackle was replaced by a computer-operated iron truss (although one-third of all operations are still manual). The size of the stage was left unchanged; it is 12.6 m long (41.3 ft) and 11 m (36.1 ft) high. The perfect evolution of an opera behind the scenes is the responsibility of a team of 4 directors, 5 stage managers, 26 stage hands, 9 light technicians, 4 sound technicians, 6 dressers and 5 make-up artists and hairdressers. The orchestra pit, which is situated three meters below the stage, can be raised to stage level. The la Monnaie Symphony Orchestra has about 90 permanent musicians.