World-famous violinist and conductor André Rieu is known for his incredibly popular tours, visiting over 100 venues a year with his Johann Strauss orchestra. The tour has a huge opportunity to impress both live audiences and millions of viewers watching in cinemas and on DVD.
This means that the lighting needs to be suitable for cameras recording the show for broadcast, DVD and the cinema, as well as the audience attending the performance.
It is important for the André Rieu Tour lighting is as compact, portable and low weight as possible to enable quick transitions between shows, supporting the tech crew as much as possible. The large number of performers in the orchestra needs to be lit with a uniform field and dynamic effects to highlight different aspects of the performance, creating a great atmosphere for the audience.
To meet these goals, Maurice Verbeek, Lighting Designer at André Rieu productions, used lights including MAC Encore Performance CLD and MAC Aura, supplied by Netherlands-based Fairlight.
The set is entirely made up of intelligent lights and all moving lights are LED. Martin MAC Encore CLDs are deployed as the orchestra’s key lights, offering a best-in-class size/weight/performance ratio. They are attached to pre-fabricated parts of the set, facilitating quick transitions between performances. The cutting-edge LED technology’s advanced colour mixing is ideal for illuminating the orchestra, and flicker-free refresh rates ensure that cameras can capture top quality footage.
For the orchestra’s backlight, Verbeek created five chandeliers, each incorporating 16 MAC Auras. The chandeliers are on wheels and thanks to the Aura’s compact, low weight design, can travel as one piece in the tour truck, helping to ensure fast transitions between venues.
Super-bright MAC Aura XBs are used as side lights, hanging at both high and low levels at the side of the stage, providing 6000 Lumens output and rapid movement. For the tour’s outdoor events, such as Rieu’s annual Maastricht summer concerts, MAC Quantum Wash provides an impressive balance between colours and whites. Features such as smooth CMY colour mixing make it possible to illuminate large areas of the orchestra, stage and surrounding buildings in colour, creating an atmospheric experience for the live audience and cinema viewers alike.
“The tour is getting better and better every year,” Verbeek said. “I personally think that we have the perfect tour set. I have the perfect products and the quickest, most silent and most flexible tour set. I’m really happy with it.”
He added, “The technical crew who work with the gear, doing the loading and unloading, are also really happy with the set as it’s all on wheels and the Encore is really light.”
Verbeek’s experience has helped him to realise the importance of orchestra key lights. “I notice a big difference with the Encore. I’m convinced it’s got the perfect flat field and colour temperature,” he explained.
The pricing of the MAC Encore has also had an impact on the effects that Verbeek can create, enhancing the visual experience for the audience. “It’s made it possible for me to add more spots, so I can include more specific key lights,” he said.
The quality of the lighting fixtures means that all elements of the stage can be lit with the same intensity and brightness, so the performance can be captured by the cameras, ensuring a high-quality show for Rieu’s millions of viewers. Verbeek said: “Every year it looks better for broadcast, for DVD and for the cinema.”