- ALC4 - Lighting Major French TV Shows
- Casa da Musica Porto Portugal
- Malaysian National Theatre
- National Grand Theatre Beijing
- Novosibirsk Opera Russia
- Opera Garnier Paris
- Oriental Art Centre Shanghai
- Teatro alla Scala Milano Italy
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- Theatre Municipal Luxembourg
- PAULE CONSTABLE ON THE ADB LIGHTING WARP/M
- DIRTY DANCING THE MUSICAL
- GLYNDEBOURNE OPERA HOUSE SELECTS MOTORIS...
GLYNDEBOURNE OPERA HOUSE SELECTS MOTORISED WARP
Two months before the official UK launch of the ADB WARP/M at PLASA 2005, Glyndebourne Opera House joined its illustrious Italian counterpart, La Scala in Milan, as one of the world's first major locations for this unique luminaire. The installation followed a ‘luminaire shootout' organised by Keith ‘KB' Benson, Glyndebourne's lighting manager. ‘KB' started as a maintenance engineer there in 1973, before being hired as a summer season freelancer. Until the close of the old house in 1992, "I came back every summer and freelanced in the winter months as production electrician on London shows including Cats, Les Miserables, Starlight Express and Sunset Boulevard." When the new building opened in 1994 he took up the offer of a full time job.
Productions - a mixture of revivals and brand new productions - are created entirely in-house and run from April until October, when the Glyndebourne Touring Opera begins six or seven weeks of travels around the UK with a reduced version of its lighting rig.
Among this season's offerings is the opera pictured here, Verdi's Otello. Directed by Peter Hall, it features a John Gunter design and an original lighting design by Mark Henderson, now recreated by ‘KB'.
Keith explains: "We've used generics for years because I never felt that the moving light for opera was there, although we have tried a few - we used a couple of 2K PCs for a few years and they performed pretty well. But we have never really gone for anything else; I am not so keen, personally, on colour mixing, as it can be difficult to get a really pure specific colour. But using automated lights makes sense to save refocusing time, and we have some awkward lighting positions to get to. "It came to a head last winter when the director and designer wanted a forestage that moved out over the pit for a new production. This wasn't physically possible, so it was decided with lighting designer Peter Mumford to achieve the effect by sweeping a block of light forward using some form of moving luminaire. I felt now was the time ‘to make a commitment to movers,' and the decision needed to become a long-term one, and to find a good workhorse for us. We looked at a number of units and noise is a huge factor for us. So I did a luminaire shootout with several leading brands including the WARP/M and I put them all through their paces - and at the end of the day it was the new WARP/M that came up trumps."
Since installation, he enthuses, the WARP/M's movements have increasingly been used ‘live' as opposed to simply repositioning in blackout. "Peter Mumford, for example, used the movements a lot in La Cenerentola. There is a sequence when the leading lady moves downstage and the lights follow her down in a slow move over about two minutes, in a fully programmed move, which looks wonderful."
There were several major reasons why the WARP/M was their choice, he comments. "It is totally silent and is as bright, if not brighter than, the competition. In fact, Dave Locker, Glyndebourne's Technical Director - who has been very supportive in committing to go with moving lights and indeed to the WARP/M - came to the shootout so that he could see and hear the competing units for himself. He was more interested in hearing them, really, and he simply couldn't hear it - a fact that he really liked about it. The fact that you can network them means that diagnostics can be done from down in the staff room and if we then want to network up with the outside world it means diagnostics can be done from ADB's home base - fantastic. Another factor was controllability from our lighting desks: the way the WARPs move onto the controls on the consoles is superb. The way the shutters work is also really user-friendly. For all of these reasons and more, we are absolutely delighted with the WARP/M."