Vari*Lite fills the void for Le Grand Cirque

Posted on Friday, February 6th, 2009

Last year the Sydney Opera House hosted Le Grand Cirque which turned out to be the highest grossing show they had ever had. Seen by millions of people around the world, Le Grand Cirque is a jaw-dropping visual feast of breathtaking acrobatics, spellbinding contortionists, soaring aerial performers and whiteknuckle stunts.

UK-based Storm Lighting was re-invited to design the lighting for the return tour which ran this January at the Opera House. Like the acts on stage, the lighting design makes an exuberant demonstration of its own power and presence. Elaborate costumes and reflective stage apparatus come alive in a vivid and everchanging array of colours.

The design was by Pete Kramer with guidance from an old colleague of his Gavin Norris, now a full time production manager for the opera house.

The show was a tricky feat due to the high rig trim height and weight loading restrictions of the listed building. Fortunately, for the first time, Pete had Vari*Lite luminaires in his rig and he was blown away by their brightness.

“In this situation, with the high trim height, I think the Vari-Lites were definitely the best fixtures for the job,” he remarked. “We really needed the VL3000s for their brightness and throw, but also due to the restrictions on the roof, we could use fewer of them. I’ve found the Vari-Lites to be good all round fixtures.”

Chameleon Touring Systems supplied the lighting, including fifteen VL3000 spots, fifteen VL2000 spots and twenty-eight VL2500 wash luminaires.

“The VL2000 spots do all of the grunt work whilst the VL3000 do all of the tricks,” said Pete. “The VLL2500 washes supply all the colour washes.”

A few of the Opera House’s own VL1000 fixtures were also deployed.