Elation Professional Proteus range illuminates Austria’s Linzer Klangwolke

Photo: EventElevator-Jan Bruhnke

Following thorough tests, Lighting Designer, Manfred Nikitser chose Elation Professional Proteus Excalibur and Proteus Brutus for the annual open-air multimedia musical event.

When the director of this year’s Linzer Klangwolke, Francesca Zambello, brought Austrian lighting designer Manfred Nikitser onto the creative team for the lighting looks, it quickly became clear to them that the project would require lights of a special format.

Organised by the Brucknerhaus Linz Congress Centre, the open-air spectacle attracts around 100,000 spectators each year to Danube Park in the Austrian town of Linz.

This year, a piece entitled Odyssey. A Journey Through Worlds, was performed on September 9th. The odyssey, a little girl’s journey on the river of life towards the source of renewal, literally took place on the waters of the Danube. With three floating platforms, an additional stage on land and the surrounding riverside scenery, the setting for the spectacle was extremely spacious.

“The dimensions and distances at the Linzer Klangwolke are much larger than at other shows,” confirmed Manfred Nikitser. “The entire stage area is approximately 1000 x 600 meters, and the audience is also at least 150 meters away from the action on stage. I knew from the start that we would need particularly powerful beam lights for this; ultimately, I wanted to make the scene so large that the panorama of the city of Linz would also be a part of it.”

Nikitser commented, “We wanted to test under real conditions how the different lights work. I planned to have moving lights spread over a kilometre route and 500m away from the audience. This is anything but day-to-day business. The Proteus Excalibur proved to be by far the best solution for this purpose. The output, beam characteristics, colour wheel configuration and speed immediately impressed us as an unrivalled overall package.”

Some 40 Proteus Excaliburs were spread over a kilometre along the banks of the Danube, creating a visual framework for the production moving on the river. The Proteus Excalibur is a beam-moving head in Elation’s successful Proteus series of automated IP65 lighting fixtures. It produces up to 200,000 lux at 20m (7,500 lux at 100m).

“I wanted the audience to know where they are,” Nikitser emphasised. “That’s why it was important to me to make the water of the Danube and the city of Linz visible instead of just illuminating a beautiful stage in a black hole.”

Manfred and his team tested the Proteus Brutus with the pre-installed diffuser lens and were “already impressed by the output.” He continued, “I identified at least 20 different types of lights that could be considered for this purpose and made countless calculations based on the photometric data. The Proteus Brutus won the race. No other lamp can provide this brightness onto the other side of the river. The IP rating was an additional advantage that was not initially included in the specifications, but made it even easier.”

Nikitser took advantage of the option to remove the diffuser lens of the Brutus in order to use the fixture as a wash beam. In this way, it was possible to get even more output from the light and achieve stronger mid-air effects.

“There is no other IP light that, equipped with this zoom, generates nearly as much light output at such a great distance,” Nikitser remarked. “To my knowledge, the Brutus is also the first wash or wash beam that has a sufficiently large lens and enough output to really be noticed in long-throw applications. The high output also helped us save on the budget, because with any other model we would have needed a lot more lighting fixtures to achieve the same result.”

Director Francesca Zambello specifically brought Nikitser on board because she knew that, as a lighting designer focused on rock ‘n’ roll and open-air events, he would have the right vision for a project of this magnitude.

“The Linzer Klangwolke was created in close collaboration between those responsible for set, video, lighting, music, acting, dance and artistry. A good show only comes about when all elements of the production literally merge with each other. We succeeded. The team worked together wonderfully and it was a great pleasure for me and my crew to be a part of it,” Zambello concluded.