Vari*Lite VLX LED Washes Soar Above Sydney Harbour

Posted on Monday, May 21st, 2012

The recent Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, La Traviata, was Opera Australia’s most ambitious project to date held on a purpose-built stage on the waters of Sydney Harbour.

Set designer Brian Thomson’s minimal but striking stage design was dominated by a giant chandelier, measuring 9-metres x 9-metres, which sparkled with thousands of Swarovski crystals symbolising the world of Verdi’s much-loved opera with its glittering Parisian salons. The chandelier was suspended from a 26-metre crane, blackened out so that it is invisible against the night sky.

The La Traviata Chandelier took 720 man hours to manufacture and 240 man hours to assemble. Along with the beautiful 10,000 Swarovski Elements crystals, the La Traviata Chandelier contained 1,025 crystal shapes, 23,104 facets, 3,000 LED lights and 12 Vari*Lite VLX LED wash lights. The VLX were chromium plated especially for this production so that when they moved they would sparkle and glint within the chandelier.

Lighting designer John Rayment decided upon the VLX fixtures due to their light weight, with the chandelier having weight restrictions, and to compliment the LED set electrics and point sources within the chandelier.

“I wanted to continue the same light source and that led me to the VLX with its equivalent colour temperature,” commented John. “The VLX fixtures proved to be spectacularly reliable in what was really quite a hostile environment. They worked well and their light output was impressive. The consistency across them all, in terms of colour, was great. They’re just a nice light!”

John also had a number of Vari-Lite VL3500 Washes and Spot out front, stating that he is particularly attracted to lanterns with shutters.

“I wanted the punch and the shutter control as well as consistency,” he said. “The VL3500 is a very good light. They’ve got great optics and are very punchy.”

Lighting was supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems.