HSL is supplying stage lighting – including 16 new Robe ColorWash 750 AT Tungsten moving light fixtures purchased specially for this event – together with a stage sound system, site-wide lighting and electrics, comms, power distribution and full public address and announcement audio – to the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea’s season.

For the first time in 6 years of HSL supplying the event, the moving light elements of the rig have been expanded substantially, including the ColorWash 750 AT Tungstens together with 8 Robe ColorWash 1200E ATs rigged on the box truss and 2 ColorSpot 1200E ATs rigged on the first advanced bar in the auditorium.

London Borough of Kensington & Chelsea’s operations Manager Michael Harth says, “HSL always offer us a very competitive and comprehensive package covering all technical aspects of the productions. The service and support that also accompanies this is really excellent and it’s good to be working with them again this season.”

2008 Opera Holland Park

The completely sold out event features 6 full scale productions which are performed in rep, two at a time over a 10 week period with music by the City Of London Sinfonia. Opera Holland Park 2008 is being staged in the famous London park’s new 1028 capacity high tensile structure arena.

The 2008 line up is – Il Trovatore, La Fille du Regiment, The Magic Flute, Tosca, La Gioconda and Iolanta.

Three lighting designers – Simon Corder (La Gioconda/Iolanta), Colin Grenfell (Il Trovatore/La Fille du Regiment) and Peter Mumford (Tosca/The Magic Flute) – were brought onboard each to design 2 shows, and Grenfell and Corder had substantial design input and worked alongside HSL’s onsite project manager Jim Ewart andSean McGlonein the Blackburn office, to develop a flexible working “house” rig to deal with everyone’s technical and creative needs.

Over the stage, HSL has flown a Litec Libera box truss grid suspended on 8 motors, it’s outer dimensions measuring approximately 19 by 8.5 metres. Onto this is rigged all the over-stage lighting, which also includes over 100 conventionals – a selection of PARs, profiles and fresnels.

They also installed 3 FOH trusses traversing the tented roof above the auditorium which are utilised for additional advanced lighting positions, house lighting and sound.

The major criteria for any lighting rig in these circumstances is to be as flexible and dynamic as possible, having to deal with such a diversity of performances, all with radically different looks, ambiences and locations.

With the larger moving light rig, and specifically the Tungstens in residence this year has made a huge difference in this context, really expanding everyone’s creative options as well as making focusing sessions and changeovers more expedient and efficient. Using the two ColorSpots on the first advanced bar also gives flexible movable spot positions.

The stage lighting rig is run from a WholeHog II console, and looked after by chief LX Pete Wright and Jonas Fuglseth for the run of shows. All dimming supplied by HSL is Avolites.

It’s the first time Wright has used Robe fixtures, and he comments that he’s been impressed generally with their performance and particularly with their reliability.

Around the site, approximately 100 lights are installed to illuminate the trees, gardens and picnic areas, plus the entrances and foyers, toilets and pathways, and JTE PixelPARs are being used to highlight some of the foliage.

HSL has also supplied a sound system to take care of the relatively straightforward production audio requirements – amounting to some sound effects and a minimal amount of instrument mic’ing. They specified a mix of Community and Nexo speakers, which are installed across the auditorium trusses and grid.

These facilities can be utilised if environmental conditions get tough (e.g. heavy rain, wind, etc), However, the operas are all sung without amplification and the orchestra performs acoustically, so having an audio system in the house is very much a back-up plan.

The Yamaha M2500 sound desk does run all the site announcements and the public address system and so has a vital role in the big picture. It’s fully battery backed up to meet the licensing requirements, and all the equipment is also on UPSs. Sound is run through a limiter to keep the levels below 80dB.

HSL is also supplying a variety of mics and a wedge foldback system for piano rehearsals.

HSL’s Sean McGlonesays, “Being involved with top quality productions like Opera Holland Park is great for us – apart from being a prestigious event in its own right, quality production values are right up there on their agenda”.

HSL sends a full crew to site for the 4 week build period – one week shorter than last year – including a qualified electrician for the get-in and build period.

Date of issue : 16th July 2008.

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