Leading Slovenian lighting designer Crt Birsa specified 87 x Robe moving lights including Pointes, MMX Spots and MMX WashBeams for a special fifth anniversary concert by Croatian superstars 2CELLOs, staged at the beautifully atmospheric Verona Arena in Italy.
The cello duo of Luka Šulić and Stjephan Hauser have seen their fame and popularity soar since 2011 when their cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” went viral on You Tube! Now signed to Sony Masterworks, they have produced three studio albums and perform their unique instrumental blend of pop and rock classics to a growing fan-base worldwide.
Crt, known for his high-impact lighting and visual designs, has worked with the artist since late 2014, and the brief for this show was to add plenty of ambience and visual magic to the stage and the historically significant Roman amphitheatre for the capacity audience.
All lighting equipment was supplied by top Croatian rental company Eldra d.o.o., from Zagreb, which has invested heavily in Robe in recent years, with products supplied by Robe’s Croatian distributor, LAV Studio.
Due to the rainy weather forecast in Verona, all lights had to be rigged underneath a roof structure onstage, rather than around the back of the arena as was originally intended had the weather outlook been more favourable and commitment to an open set up been possible.
The 44 x Pointes, 16 of the 24 x MMX Spots and 13 of the 19 x MMX WashBeams were all hung upstage in the roof, with 8 MMX Spots on the front truss for specials, and 6 x MMX Washes reserved for shooting light in from the sides.
On this show, Pointes and MMX luminaires were initially chosen because of the nature of the big open air venue for which powerful lightsources were needed. “We needed strong and bright fixtures to throw a good distance to the stage and look great even in windy conditions when the haze has blown away!” he commented.
Pointes are “good multifunctional fixtures” that can be utilized as beams or spots, looking equally eye-catching especially with a decent number like 44. Crt observes that they also look highly compatible alongside the MMX Spots and WashBeams.
The Pointe’s 8 facet prism and the linear prism are “always welcome” says Crt, adding that the zoom on all these Robe fixtures is fast, and especially on the MMXs “you can achieve very cool wide angles”.
He likes the MMX colour mixing which is fast and definite and thinks generally that all the Robe fixtures work well together, making them all the more usable when combining different types and generations!
Crt has used Robe in his work for some time and loves the brand for its reliability and creative scope.
“Robe is on most of my riders and specification as a first choice. So many rental companies in Slovenia now have Robe products, so I am very familiar with all of them – they are innovative and excellent lighting tools as well as being available in most places around the world!”
The most challenging aspect of this show was lack of time and enormous pressure on the day! Due to various technical issues, they were only handed the stage to start rigging around 200 lights at midday on showday, which is a tall order for a performance as complex and high profile as this.
“Thanks to my assistant Klemen Krajnc and all the Eldra technicians who worked like crazy to rig the fixtures in such a short space of time – they were all amazing!” says Crt who, as a seasoned lighting professional, had also taken a fortuitous opportunity to programme a large part of the show in pre-visualisation sessions!
Three spectacular 7 Watt lasers were provided for the Verona show by LumiLas, also from Croatia, and the show was another great success for 2CELLOs, their production team and their enthusiastic fans.
Photo: Fabrice Gallina