Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour has become one of the most highly anticipated events on Australia’s cultural calendar. What can be better than watching a first-class production with the spectacle of Sydney Harbour at night spread out before you? The glimmering backdrop, with the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in perfect alignment, makes for a fabulous adornment to what is happening onstage.
However, whilst the setting of this production encourages many who may not usually visit the opera, it comes with its own set of challenges. Held in March and April, the show regularly receives a battering from Sydney’s temperamental weather and so lighting fixture choice and placement is a major concern.
This year, La Traviata took to the iconic floating stage with lighting once again designed by John Rayment who, having lit many of these spectaculars, is a veteran at cheating the weather. He specified two types of Show Technology IP rated fixtures: 20 x Ayrton Perseo S and 10 x Prolights Panorama Wash.
“Both fixtures proved to be very reliable and versatile,” commented John. “The light output is terrific for this larger scale application, and is clean and consistent across multiple fixtures. Obviously being an outdoor production, the IP65 rating is a tremendous asset – the lanterns gave us virtually no weather-related problems at all. Indeed, as on West Side Story previously, it was a comfort to know that when the elements went crazy, these lanterns would keep going after many others failed, or were switched off for safety.”
The Perseo instruments were placed on the chandelier, base up, and the forestage void deck, base down. The Panorama instruments were rigged in two columns on the crane mast to act as the only backlight.
“They had to work from tight beams on individual staging elements to a broad wash across the entire, very large, performance deck,” added John. “All of them worked a treat. I look forward to the day when it will be possible to specify true outdoor lanterns across the entire rig for this event.”
Chameleon Touring Systems provided the Ayrton Perseo S and Prolights Panorama Wash as well as 62 x Martin MAC Viper Performance, eight MAC 3 Performance and eight MAC Aura XB.
Added to that are five Unique Hazer, two Robert Juliat Aramis Followspot and two MA Lighting grandMA2 light consoles.
Site lighting utilised 28 x ShowPRO LED Flood EX 36 and 24 x ShowPRO LED Fusion Q XII IP Bar.
Photo Credit: Prudence Upton