Lighting designer Helmut Krammer used over 100 Robe fixtures – a mixture of moving lights and units from Robe’s LED series – for the 2011 Summer Night Concert, performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in the beautiful baroque gardens at Schönbrunn Palace, one of the most important cultural monuments in Austria, which created a stunning backdrop. The event was attended by 150,000 people and broadcast by ORF to approximately 60 other countries.
Krammer’s challenges included lighting the huge area being used to stage the event, creating a sense of spectacle, illuminating the orchestra in an appropriate way for both broadcast and live audience, and generally bringing additional magic, ambience and ‘wow!’ factors to the performance with the lighting, some of which was required to cover very wide distances.
The lighting rental company for the event was film and TV specialists LGL Lichttechnik from Vienna, and the Robes were supplied by two leading European rental companies – Q-99 from Slovakia and HSL from the UK.
The Robe kit included 20 CitySkape Xtremes, 12 ColorWash 2500E ATs, 30 ColorSpot 1200E ATs, 20 ColorWash 1200E ATs – 14 with PC lenses and 6 with fresnel lenses – and 24 ColorBeam 2500E ATs.
The Robes were deployed in five different areas for the show. The first was lighting a ballet stage which was new for this year’s event, built in front of the garden’s Gloriette building, which is elevated on a hill several hundred metres away slightly to stage left of the main stage. The Vienna State Opera Ballet performed on this stage simultaneously with the main concert performance, relayed to all but their immediate audience via LED screen.
A Ballet Stage 2 was built further down from Ballet Stage 1 into the massive audience viewing area, near the pond lower down the hill.
The third area where Robes were deployed was behind the main stage, spread out along the Neptunbrunnen fountains opposite Schönbrunn Palace. Gobo projections illuminated the wall behind these fountains.
The fourth area was in the roof of the main stage, and then finally, in area # 5, fixtures were spread out to the left and right sides of the main stage.
The Gloriette – the largest and probably most best known example of this type of garden architecture – was illuminated with 14 CitySkape Xtremes. Twelve of the ColorBeam 2500E ATs were also used to light the Gloriette, doubling as high-impact mid-air effects for Ballet Stage 1, together with 11 Robe ColorSpot 1200E ATs.
On Ballet Stage 2 were 14 ColorWash 1200E ATs with PC lenses – plus Space Cannons and Nova Flower effects.
Behind the main stage, spaced out along the Neptunbrunnen fountains, were six CitySkape Xtremes and 22 Robe ColorSpot 1200E ATs, positioned on the rim of the fountain and used for hugely bright aerial effects and gobo projections onto the wall behind. Six Space Cannons were also located in this area.
On the main stage, the six ColorSpot 1200E ATs were used as specials to highlight the structure, doubling as key lights for some of the performers. Then, in front of the flower beds left and right of the main stage, the remaining fixtures – 20 ColorWash 2500E ATs and 12 ColorBeam 2500E ATs – were fanned out.
Krammer operated the show using two Road Hog Full Boar consoles.