For the annual Linzer Klangwolke, director Francesca Zambello and assistant director/choreographer Eric Sean Fogel created Odyssey.
Internationally famed Austrian lighting designer Manfred Nikitser (Scorpions, etc.) created the design for the huge performing area, measuring around 1,000 by 600m, he utilised weatherproof GLP fixtures FUSION X-PAR 12Z, XDC1 and impression X5 IP Bar.
The ‘main stage’ this year comprised three floating transport ships on the water. And with another stage on land, a total of four locations were available to show different stages of the heroine’s journey, with each performance area offering its own architectural design.
One of the floating stages was equipped with a set design dominated by triangular structures made of steel beams. “We asked how we could best illuminate these triangles so that they appeared as architectural structures, even at a distance,” explained Niktiser. “It was clear that we would need a lot of lighting, from moving heads that on the one hand offered the appropriate power plus zoom, but on the other were so compact that they fit into the support structures.” After the use of the FUSION X-PAR 12Z for this year’s Amadeus Austrian Music Awards, the designer once again turned to this LED PAR from GLP.
On two of the ships, all steel structures were equipped with a total of 104 FUSION X-PAR 12Z. The two visible legs of the triangles mentioned were completely lined with X-PAR 12Z (72 pieces in total). On a second ship, another 32 FUSION X-PAR 12Z were used as keylights. “The zoom and the compact form factor of the X-PAR 12Z were crucial here,” observed Niktiser. “There are only a few LED PARs in this size that offer sufficient output for such an application.”
In addition, 12 weatherproof GLP XDC1 IP Hybrid fixtures were deployed, eight of which were placed on the stage area, with the triangles on the left and right, in order to either create coloured light in the middle or a side strobe effect.
“The XDC1 from GLP was the right choice for this. Their beam angle made it possible to achieve a powerful, homogeneous wash over the entire surface with just a few devices. If necessary, we could also use it as a strobe,” explains the lighting designer. “Their high output made them perfect over the distance.”
On the same ship, the designer also placed 10 impression X5 IP Bars at the front edge of the stage. Thanks to the motorised tilt, they could be aimed either at the stage or at the audience. “This stage offered a lot of acrobatics and aerial performances,” commented Niktiser, “so we needed a fixture that was relatively low but still able to illuminate the entire performance area. The zoom of the very bright impression X5 IP Bar made this possible without any problems.”
Since the Danube would have had to be closed to shipping traffic for rehearsals, there was only a dress rehearsal for the Linzer Klangwolke 2023 on the evening before the show. “Some rehearsals can be carried out on land, but not under realistic conditions. There is very little time available for lighting, so it is all the more important that the lighting ultimately works exactly as you imagined on the evening of the show. Fortunately, it all worked out very well, largely because I knew that I could rely on the fixtures I had chosen,” summarised Niktiser.
As usual, the collaboration with GLP worked excellently, he says. “Olli Schwendke once again provided great support.”
The technical service provider Supporting Role Austria made a contribution to the success of the show, as Niktiser emphasised: “Supporting Role has been servicing the Linzer Klangwolke for several years now and has brought a lot of experience and knowledge of the local conditions. Crew chief Florian Bauer and the organiser’s technical manager, Roman Widmann, deserve a special mention here. The wealth of experience of this team is incredibly valuable in implementations such as this. Wireless signal management in particular is a difficult and complex matter. But it was no problem for the well-rehearsed crew, who always had the tight schedule very well under control.”
“It was an honour to have worked on this unique project as part of the great international creative team and I would like to thank everyone who contributed to its great success,” Niktiser concluded.