More than 440 GLP fixtures ensure radiant illumination of stage, castle, and gardens
It is one of the major cultural highlights of the city of Vienna: the Summer Night Concert by the Vienna Philharmonic. Since 2004, the Klassik-Open-Air has attracted tens of thousands of music lovers each year to the Schönbrunn Palace Gardens. This year’s concert, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, took place on June 20 in front of around 85,000 people. In addition the concert was broadcast by ORF, Austria’s leading public service broadcaster.
For the second time, Jerry Appelt was responsible for the lighting design. “The Vienna Philharmonic itself suggested the somewhat contemporary implementation of the concert,” he stated. “I think that's very brave and I'm glad that concept suited both them and us.”
In 2019, the large, arched-roof platform was again positioned directly in front of the castle, while the audience in the garden spread out between the ornamental flower beds towards the Gloriette. Of course, in addition to all the architectural elements such as the castle, the real challenge was still primarily to illuminate the great classical orchestra on stage for this grand event.
But the design concept went far beyond this. “Thanks to the open stage with a transparent roof, we were able to include the castle as a background in the staging,” continues Appelt. “This year, the green areas, the Neptune Fountain and the Gloriette also formed part of the stage lighting. Our aim was to integrate the overall concept in the best possible way in the concert process and make it work.”
For this mammoth task, the internationally renowned designer primarily relied on LED fixtures from the GLP portfolio. More than 440 of the innovative luminaires were used. Appelt turned to the impression X4 L to bathe the castle in light and create a stunning backdrop to the orchestra that he was able to emphasize with color accents during the course of the concert.
The white light onstage was created by 54 GLP impression S350 and 28 impression S350 Wash – both moving lights that the designer has come to appreciate. “I really like the impression S350 Wash. For medium-sized studios and concert areas this is a really great all-purpose tool. Both the S350 Wash and its spot counterpart are, in my opinion, a contemporary alternative for applications that once were predominantly covered with fixed zoom profiles. I used them for the first time in larger quantities at ‘MTV Unplugged’ with Udo Lindenberg, where I really liked them. The S350 also deliver a perfect, camera-friendly output, which was vital for the ORF broadcast of the Summer Night Concert."
While the impression S350 occupied the keylight positions, the impression S350 Wash in the lower stage area served as a softer source.
For the audience light – especially for the distant positions, such as the area in front of the Neptune Fountain – Appelt used 24 pieces of the new GLP HIGHLANDER Wash. With its 1,400 watt lamp and large 230mm front lens, the HIGHLANDER Wash delivers impressive light output with optimal light quality.
"The HIGHLANDER Wash provided sufficient output despite the long distances," says the designer. In fact Appelt was using the model for the second time following the LEA Awards in Frankfurt this spring.
“The HIGHLANDER is a beautiful lamp that operates in classic spot / wash combinations as well as independently. The framing unit is the difference for me. The market is not exactly littered with high-performance washlights with shutters. On the one hand, the HIGHLANDER framing blades allow me to work with clean, sharp beams in the show area, but on the other hand, this device is also an excellent lighting tool for those applications that would previously require Fresnel fixtures.”
In addition, 24 GLP X4 atom, equipped with micro Fresnel lenses, served as decorative lighting with 60 more arranged as single spotlights in the direction of camera. 26 impression X4 Bar 20 and six X4 Bar 10 served as further set, architectural and decorative lighting, while the numerous statues in the castle gardens were illuminated with 48 of the new Fusion Stick FS20 bars, one of the new IP65 rated fixtures from GLP.
“I would like to thank the Vienna Philharmonic, in particular Thilo Fechner, for the confidence placed in us,” concluded Jerry Appelt. “The initiative for the elaborate concert design was made by the musicians themselves. I also thank Zigo Mutschlechner from the organiser, GANZTON Veranstaltungen GmbH, as well as the ORF team, based around Peter Grauer.”
Jerry Appelt was lighting designer and DoP. He was assisted by lighting director Manfred Nikitser, lighting designer Markus Ruhnke, desk operators Otto Schildknecht and Emanuel Jörgner, and Dirk Hämmerling as gaffer. PRG was responsible for the technical implementation.
The next Summer Night Concert from the Vienna Philharmonic will take place on May 21, 2020.