The new interpretation of the Puccini’s unfinished opera had its world premiere at the Grand Theatre de Geneve in Geneva, Switzerland in June 2022 with Lighting Designer, Simon Trottet assuming the role of Lighting Designer. The immersive production, directed by Daniel Kramer, fuses music, lighting, lasers and projections to create a completely new look for the tale of the Emperor of China’s daughter.
“My aim was to unify the lasers, video and lights while producing powerful scenes to paint the space using smoke as a medium,” explained Trottet. The director collaborated with TeamLab and TeamLab Architec Japan, which were tasked with lasers, video and set design and made their operatic debut.
“The staging of Turandot was particularly complex to achieve,” Trottet continued. “The set, weighing 7.5 tonnes and standing 8m high, rested on a 15m turntable and was made up of two huge semi-transparent boxes that seemed to hang in the air. These boxes housed the 80 choristers, divided into two groups: women in the white box and men in the black box, each box filled with LED strips inside and out. A rock floated in milky water, also with LEDs, 50 lasers and video completed the set. On the other side of the set, a plexiglass and mirror triangle housed an LED wall covering the entire backdrop and divided into four parts to allow for different scenes,” he pointed out.
Trottet often relies on Claypaky lighting fixtures to deliver the look he needs for operatic productions. “I chose to work with Claypaky for [this] project, as they have always met my needs in terms of power and quality of light,” he noted.
For Turnandot, he wanted “powerful equipment that could sculpt space and saturate colours. It was crucial that these sources were perfectly calibrated to each other so that they could be mixed without being differentiated. In addition, the quality of colour reproduction (CRI) was essential, as some of the lighting was used from the front. After testing many different brands of fixtures, I found that only Claypaky met all my expectations.”
Trottet utilised two large lines of Tamboras for backlighting (2 by 16) plus 22 more for side lights. To complement these sources. He placed K25s between the Tambora ramp lines and also in three-quarter facing positions to maintain a consistent colour calibration between the different sources and to provide the necessary power to compensate for the LED video wall.
“As a lighting designer, being able to use K25 and Tambora projectors in large numbers allows me to achieve exceptional lighting quality in my productions,” Trottet explained. “I have been impressed with the reliability and quality of both products and have incorporated them into all my productions since I began using them.”
He finds that the K25s “have been particularly useful in meeting the specific needs of my projects, offering consistent power and colour calibration. As for the Tamboras, their power and lighting quality have been invaluable in sculpting space and creating dynamic effects.”
Trottet calls Claypaky’s support for his productions “exemplary”, and reported that, “when I needed specific material for one of my productions, their representative in Japan was very responsive and professional. He quickly found and booked the equipment I needed, taking into account all the technical details. The Claypaky support team is extremely knowledgeable and professional and was always available to answer my questions and provide me with sound advice. I particularly appreciate their proactive approach: They always make sure that I am in the best possible shape for my productions.”
Trottet is convinced that Claypaky fixtures “will be a valuable asset to other lighting professionals” and said: “I am happy to recommend Claypaky for their excellent support and commitment to providing high quality products for the lighting industry.”