What a day! Overall, it was a 15 hour experience, but absolutely worth it. The work day started at 9 am by moving our almost-completed columns across town. Matt and I were a little afraid they might suggest we roll them to the castle… fortunately we not only had a truck, but volunteers to help us move them. This is a step up from moving them with 2-4 people out of a dormitory basement.
The next step was making sure the lighting company was there to set up. They were based out of Miskolc (‘pronounced Mish-colt’), and overall I would say they were pretty efficient. When push came to shove later in the week, they were there to focus and refocus the lights (which I’ll discuss in more depth later in another post).
Here is a picture of Monday rehearsals as well. Josh, our Don Ottavio, was a 28-year-old French-American tenor, and an absolutely stellar singer. Congrats to Josh, by the way, who will be auditioning this upcoming season in the German opera circuit!
Just another image of the stage pre-set pieces and lighting equipment:
Here are two pictures from Tuesday where the preliminary set/props onstage can be seen below. Unfortunately, we couldn’t focus or set any lights until after the rehearsal was over at 10pm. It’s just another challenge when working outdoors. It is so bright inside the castle courtyard during the day that working on lights before rehearsals would be useless. Lighting the stage at a different time of day would also defeat the purpose of having the show from 8-11pm at night. Fortunately, the focus only took a little over 1.5 hours.
The critical elements of Matt’s lighting were visibility and highlighting the space itself. Even with just floodlights (bottom image), the walls picked up light beautifully. Matt decided to split up the footlights, front lights, SR side lights, and back lights into a combination of warm and cool gels. Simple but effective: you get some variety with your lights, but can work within the limited timeline of the show. We also used two spotlights for the signers, just to make sure everyone could be seen.
Below, Matt is focusing strips of LED can lights against the castle wall. The LEDs worked well against the wall because it was so easy to shift colors seamlessly during scenes and set changes. The video below just gives you a little more on the lighting.