Clay Paky adds depth to Aida
CHINA: The National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing relied upon lighting fixtures from Clay Paky while staging Verdi’s Aida opera recently. The fixtures’ colour system was used to reconstruct the daytime and nighttime atmospheres from the 19th-century Napoleon in Egypt text. Vinicio Cheli was asked to design the lighting for the performance.
Using the set designer's sketches, Mr Cheli set out identifying the ‘points where the light should arrive from, choosing the fixtures to use and finding some technical solutions’ to light the various scenes that take place during the story of Aida and her love for Radamès.
‘You go from outdoors – the first act takes place on the banks of the Nile – to the gardens of an Egyptian Palace,’ explained Mr Cheli. ‘Then the scene moves on, with a skilful change and without any interruption in the music, to Radamès' triumphal march. Radamès returns victorious after being chosen by Isis as commander of the army that fought against Amonasro.’
The various stage elements, which ‘went well beyond the normal 40m stage dept’, were lit using approximately 60 fixtures, including Alpha Profile 1500s and Alpha Wash 1500s. ‘The triumphal march was absolutely huge: a ship dragged by slaves, which entered from the back of the stage and rose up majestically,’ offered the lighting designer.
After Beijing, Mr Cheli will move on to the new Astana opera house, and then the Opéra Garnier in Paris. He assures us he will be able to use Clay Paky lights in all the theatres he is called to.