Chroma-Q® Provides Cascade of Colours for Royal Academy of Music Shows
3rd October 2003
A.C. Lighting recently supplied 8 Chroma-Q® Cascade CMY colour-mixing scrollers to The Royal Academy of Music for their annual musical double bill.
This year's musicals - 'A Little Night Music' and 'The Baker's Wife' - were performed at the Academy's Jack Lyons Theatre and were the final projects for students on the Academy's one year Musical Theatre singing course, which is run by leading singing tutor Mary Hammond.
For respected Lighting Designer Rob Halliday, the shows presented several major technical challenges that had to be met. Whilst both performances shared the same set designer, they featured completely different sets and very contrasting styles. The shows also played in repertory, alternating each evening and with shows playing in the afternoon and evening on the last day of the run.
Rob found his solution by fitting the theatre rig's 8 ETC 36° Source Four, 575W crosslights and DHA 805 Medium Leaf Breakup gobos with Chroma-Q® Cascade colour changers, all controlled from a Strand 520i console. The Cascades, which utilise two internal gel strings and the latest technology to create over 300 useable colours, provided the crosslights with much more versatility than normal - both in terms of selecting just about any colour and in allowing seamless crossfade from colour to colour.
This proved particularly beneficial during 'A Little Night Music', which is predominately set in the perpetual twilight of northern Europe and for which there was little scenery, leaving more work to the lighting. The Cascades allowed gentle variations on the basic colour scheme as the show progressed, while also enabling fades to completely different colours as the 'fantasy' elements of the music required.
Given that the two musicals were designed to showcase the students' singing talents, it was also imperative that the production was not compromised by noisy lighting equipment, but this was not a problem for the Cascades due to their extremely low noise internal fan design.
Show Lighting Designer Rob Halliday commented "I was very impressed with the Cascades. They seemed able to produce a remarkably wide range of colours from the gentlest tints to deep saturated colours when the mood required. The ability to take a basic colour and just nudge it paler or deeper was invaluable. And they made me braver about colour choices since I could just experiment on the fly knowing that if everyone hated the result, it would be easy to change back! They added hugely to a relatively compact rig and allowed us to make the two shows beautiful - which, at the end of the day, should be the purpose of any piece of lighting equipment!"
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