From the exhilarating keyboard ascents of the great Martha Argerich, to the gentle and complex intonations of Zhu Xiao-Mej, the Château de Florans has resonated with the sound of unforgettable piano performances for over 40 years. The music continued to soar in 2020, despite the dark cloud of the pandemic, as the Piano Festival of La Roque d’Anthéron once again took place at the stately castle.
Seating for the three-week outdoor event was strictly limited in keeping with COVID-19 safety protocols. However, the excitement and energy level were as great as ever, as gifted pianists and other musicians appeared on the domed oval stage against a backdrop of 365 sequoias and other trees.
Accenting this idyllic scene and supporting the performances on stage was an artful lighting design from Scenic France/RT-Events that featured a collection of brand-new LED fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.
Scenic France/RT-Events, which has been lighting the Piano Festival of La Roque d’Anthéron and providing its audio equipment since 1989, less than a decade after it began, specified CHAUVET Professional STRIKE 1 IP fixtures as part of a plan to improve the event’s environmental footprint.
“The floodlights illuminating the grandstand for the entrance and exit of the spectators were aging halogen quartz,” said Sebastien Scolari of Scenic France/RT-Events. “Jean-Pierre Onoratini, president of the festival wanted to enhance the comfort of the public as well as address the issue of energy waste. Over the years, the park’s ambient lighting has gradually been replaced by LEDs. This was the first investment in stage lighting. It was made after the festival carefully studied all of the options.
“To carry out the product tests of the STRIKE 1 IP, we carried them out one late afternoon to a huge storage shed, opposite the bucolic setting of the park of the Château de Florans,” continued Scolari. “In this setting, the immense volume of the Strike 1 demonstrated the fixture’s full potential.”
Scenic France/RT-Events installed seven STRIKE 1 fixtures to illuminate the spacious performance area. The powerful single source 230-watt LED units provide coverage of the entire area with an enchanting warm white glow.
“There were several things that drew us to the STRIKE 1 for this application,” said Scolari. “The IP rating makes it well-suited for outdoor use. It also has very nice dimming and a high 93 IRC. Also very important, is that the tungsten emulation with the redshift function adds to the visual comfort when the units are switched off.”
Scolari credits Marie-Claude Alcaraz, vice president of the festival, as well as technical director Jean-Pierre Decugis and his team with helping to make the LED upgrade go smoothly, noting that the enhancements that have resulted from the new lighting create a more rewarding experience at Piano Festival of La Roque d’Anthéron. Looking ahead, he’s confident that this enriched experience will be enjoyed by more people from throughout the world at this famous event as the pandemic fades into history.