Classical Spectacular, one of the UK’s most popular classical music showcase, returned to the Royal Albert Hall over the weekend to celebrate its 30th Anniversary at the venue, backed by an enormous production featuring an indoor firework display, rifles and cannons. Esteemed lighting designer Durham Marenghi has selected a variety of Claypaky fixtures for the Raymond Gubbay production.
“Each season I create a different truss architecture to keep the show fresh for repeat customers,” Marenghi says, who has worked on the production for thirty years. “In addition to being visually entertaining, the structure must create the correct positions for lighting the orchestra, choir, military bands, and solo singers without glare, so they can read their music.”
Marenghi specified 16 x Claypaky Sharpy, 48 x Claypaky Sharpy Wash, 12 x Claypaky Scenius Spot, 4 x Claypaky Scenius Unico, 8 x Claypaky Mythos 2.
The versatile Mythos 2 were employed to perform a number of roles. “I’ve mounted the Mythos 2 on the floor to add texture with gobos to the acoustic discs on the ceiling, and to add movement across the orchestra and audience,” says Marenghi. The Mythos 2 has a zoom range of 4-50˚ for gobos, with an inbuilt ‘pipe’ beam effect of a 2.5˚ aperture.
“The Scenius Spot fixture has a fantastic optical system and excellent light source with a very high CRI. It allowed me to use pinspot gobos and still see some light coming out of the fixture!” says Marenghi who used the fixtures’ inbuilt two rotating gobo wheels for aerial effects, rigged overhead on the main truss structure.
Claypaky Sharpy fixtures produce a perfectly parallel laser-like beam with unprecedented brightness, free from any halo or discolouration. “The Sharpys do what Sharpys do best. I used them to create high contrast beam effects above the orchestra,” says Marenghi.
Making the most of the 6.5-48˚ zoom range, Marenghi has rigged the Sharpy Wash fixtures to provide colour washes and beam looks across the orchestra. He explains, “The Sharpy Wash is really unique in terms of its size, zoom range and output.
“The Claypaky fixtures are ideal for this venue as the wide zoom range of the profiles and washes fill the space well,” Marenghi continues. “Despite the intimate feel of the venue, it is a big hall and the output levels of the fixture are well suited to the long throws required.”
The Claypaky fixtures have been supplied by events specialist Lights Control Rigging (LCR). Ryan Hopkins of LCR programmed the design on behalf of Marenghi, and Pedro Marcé Socias operated during the shows.
Lasers for the production were supplied by Definitive Laser, with sound by RG Jones, indoor fireworks from JustFX and Production Management by Chromatic Productions.
Raymond Gubbay’s Classical Spectacular ran from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 of March 2019 at The Royal Albert Hall, London, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Photo: © Paul Sanders courtesy of Raymond Gubbay