Manchester International Festival Opera Uses EvenLED

by PLSN Staff • in
  • International News
• Created: October 15, 2009

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MANCHESTER, U.K. — “I never want to light a cyc again without it!” That’s what London-based LD Peter Mumford said after using Martin Professional’s EvenLED RGB LED panels on the new opera, Prima Donna, at the Manchester International Festival. Mumford used 111 EvenLED panels to light a large cyclorama for the opera which played at the Palace Theatre. “I particularly wanted to use EvenLED for Prima Donna to achieve a perfectly even cover using a rear projection cyc behind a painted glass wall and have the possibility of numerous color changes and ‘wipes’ of color,” Mumford said.

“In the final aria of the show entitled “Feu d’artifice” I was able to animate an abstract ‘fireworks display’ through another huge glass window and the result was very beautiful.” Working with Mumford was a team led by production electrician Keith Johnson and programmer Victoria Brennan.   

Festival Technical Director Jack Thompson was looking for a spectacular and flexible cyc light to light the rear wall of the set which was see through, he says. Lighting supplier White Light made the suggestion to use EvenLED.

“We looked at several options and after seeing Rob Halliday demonstrate the EvenLED wall on Mary Poppins as part of an ABTT workshop, I was convinced that it would be perfect for this production. Not only could it produce a spectacular array of colors and seamless color changes, but it also, through some fine programming by Vic Brennan, produced some wonderful effects of fireworks exploding in the night sky, excellent rolling clouds, the French flag fading out of the night sky,” Thompson said.  

Martin’s EvenLED is a panel of RGB LEDs used to back-project a completely even field of light over a projection surface. It is a modular system and advantages over traditional cyclorama lighting include greater evenness of field. It is ideal for theatre use as it is convection cooled for silent operation.

“It is a wonderful tool for the lighting designer and we liked it so much we even took the BP screen out and used it naked to the audience with superb results,” Thompson said. “I will be looking to recommend it to all of the designers coming up to the next Festival. When they ask ‘how should we light this cyc?’ I’ll always put EvenLED on the truck.”

White Light supplied the lighting to many of this year’s Festival shows, including Prima Donna. “EvenLED is proving to be an increasingly popular product,” said David Isherwood, Hire & Technical Director at White Light. “Designers who try it once always want to use it again.”

Photos courtesy Manchester International Festival; photographer Clive Barda

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