The opening of this year’s Opera Festival in Munich presented a show from Wagner vs Verdi, a playful contest in which the two great composers met each other as giant marionettes lit by an array of lighting with control from an ETC GIO desk.
The spectacle took place in front of 10,000 visitors in the plaza outside the Bavarian State Opera house – all to celebrate their 200th birthdays this year. The 9.5m high internally lit futuristic figures were moved by cranes like puppets, while the faces of two actors were projected onto the faces – creating the dialogue between the two composers. Music by the two composers was complemented with pieces by contemporary church music composer Moritz Eggert.
Michael Bauer, head of lighting at the Staatsoper in Munich, chose to use an ETC Gio desk – situated in a scaffolding tower in the middle of the square – to control the mixed rig, which included 14 Mac 2000s, 21 LED spotlights by JB Lighting, and ten GLP Impression 120s, via three wireless DMX transmitters.
Bavarian State Opera’s master electrician Benedikt Zehm designed the entire lighting concept and was responsible for its implementation.
“The large-scale distribution of different lighting throughout the plaza, in the front-of-house tower, in surrounding buildings, and on two stages – in addition to the two internally-lit marionettes themselves – can quickly become confusing,” said Tina Emmerich, lighting controller for the Bavarian State Opera.
“The Magic Sheets in the new Eos 2.0 software were an enormous help in keeping everything at a glance. I was able to build a topographic view of the entire rig, with flexible on-screen fixture symbols providing a quick overview, telling me, for example, which unit type is active in which colour,” she continued. “Also, different colour effects could be finely tracked and edited, even without actually having the devices within view.
Towards 10 o’clock, the crane’s giants were hoisted up. Two tiltable LCD multitouch displays on the Gio console, enabled Emmerich to move lightning fast between all of her settings. Meanwhile, outside, the Residenz façade, a roof of the house across the way, a portal of the Opera, and a roof frieze were being elegantly lit, enthralling the spectators for a good hour, before the roaring applause began.