More than 260 GLP fixtures illuminate the stage, palace and park at the Summer Night Concert in Vienna

Jerry Appelt designs the lighting for orchestra stage and ambience of Schönbrunn Palace using GLP

The Vienna Philharmonic invited audiences to the open-air Sommernachtskonzert (Summer Night Concert) for the 20th time this year – and a massive 50,000 spectators didn't need to be asked twice. In addition, the free concert – one of Austria’s largest classical music events, set against the backdrop of the impressive Schönbrunn Palace – was set for broadcast in over 80 countries.

The Sommernachtskonzert has become an established tradition and for many Viennese it is impossible to imagine life without it. Lighting designer Jerry Appelt has emphasised in the past how much this concert means to him. Therefore, he and his team continue their work – and at the same time have created new highlights in the production, thanks to the help of some new GLP devices.

The GLP impression S350 Wash has been used for orchestra lighting for several years; this year 76 of the fixtures were deployed. The devices “impress with the lighting quality required by production for TV applications,” explains Appelt. “In addition, the light weight of these spots is an advantage, given the limited load-bearing capacity of the stage roof. That’s why they are an integral part of the lighting design at the Summer Night Concert.”

GLP’s impression X5 LED washlights have also been used for orchestra lighting for the past two years. As with all spotlights in the stage roof, the comparatively low weight also plays a role here. Sixty-one impression X5 Wash were part of this year’s lighting design.

impression X5 IP Maxx: high performance and brilliant colours

However, 54 of the new, weatherproof GLP impression X5 IP Maxx were used for the first time, providing column lighting on the magnificent façade of Schönbrunn Palace. The impression X5 IP Maxx represents the much-praised colour quality of the X5 Series with an even higher output. The lighting designer favoured the new model in this application primarily for the “brilliant colours and the IP65 protection, which made it possible to forego additional rain protection in front of the historic facade”, he explains.

Premiere for FUSION Creos

With 12 FUSION Creos, a completely new model also made its debut at the Summer Night Concert. The tiltable LED washlight with 18 40W RGBL LEDs, arranged in three lines, functions both as a single device and in combination with several other fixtures to create an overpowering LED bar. During the Summer Night Concert, all 12 devices were used on the Gloriette, which is around a kilometre from the palace, and is often seen by the TV cameras.

“The Creos impressed us both as architectural lighting and as single camera lighters,” says Appelt.

Ambient lighting with FUSION X-PAR 8Z and ArenaLED1 Touring

For the first time, the designer also used 52 of the ultra-compact and weatherproof (IP65) FUSION X-PAR 8Z LED PARs with zoom from FUSION by GLP to illuminate various statues in the extensive palace park. “The statues in the park were presented as decentralised highlights, concealing the necessary lighting technology in the foreground. The X-PAR 8Z can be used extremely effectively as small, inconspicuous uplights,” he explains. “They also have a very good zoom range for such a compact device in this performance class.”

Jerry Appelt’s design team additionally used eight GLP ArenaLED1 Touring for the ambient lighting at the Gloriette, which “were somewhat misused in this role, as they are actually arena floodlights, but nevertheless did a good job and were also very acceptable outdoor floodlights. We’re looking forward to actually using the fixtures in an arena context,” says the designer.

When a torrential thunderstorm began on the day of the dress rehearsal, the IP-certified fixtures from GLP demonstrated their reliability even under the presence of such heavy rain.

Finally, Jerry Appelt thanks the organisers of the event, as well as the Philharmonic Orchestra: “My team and I always look forward to the Summer Night Concert. This is not only due to the wonderful music in the unique open-air atmosphere, but especially to the constructive collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic. In particular we thank Johannes Schneider, as our contact person, as well as the organisers, Anneliese Pontiller and Zigo Mutschlechner, who help make the Summer Night Concert a local highlight as well as a cultural export hit.” Appelt also thanks the ORF (the Austrian Broadcast Corporation), and particularly Roberto Berkembrock, for the close cooperation.