This summer, the Colosseum in Rome was reopened after three years of extensive refurbishments – the first in its history, and the occasion involved a high-profile gala event.
The Colosseum was lit by Lighting Designer Giancarlo Toscani who utilized 20 Robe BMFL WashBeams for this unique occasion. Giancarlo was asked to propose a lighting scheme by the Show Director, Fulvio Michelazzi, working for event producers Studio Exhibita for end client Grupo Tod, one of the co-sponsors of the restoration project along with the Italian government working in a PPP arrangement.
The brief was to light the iconic structure tastefully, for which he used the logo and the colours of the Italian flag to highlight ‘simplicity and elegance’. This was the real challenge. He needed a fixture that was super-bright to throw light long distances across the venue which has a variety of diameters of between 156 – 188m due to its elliptical shape and also a source with finesse and quality.
He chose the BMFL WashBeam as the best option to provide the power to illuminate and colour the inner walls of the Colosseum for the performance. Even in the dark shades the effect was bright and effervescent, and he could shape the output precisely using the shutter blades which was vital to get the desired results.
Using structures or trussing had to be avoided in case of damaging the building, so the luminaires were diligently positioned around the Colosseum, using available spaces not accessible to the public like balconies and walls on each ring of the amphitheatre.
In advance, Giancarlo created a 3D graphical presentation of the proposed lighting for the client offering a virtual 360 degree view, and illustrating how the original stonework, standing for many centuries, might look with his carefully considered application of light.
Assistant LD and collaborator Danilo La Rosa helped program the show. The event was produced by Studio Exhibita, who oversaw the realisation of the entire project. under the guidance of Supervisor Marco Ramon, Project Leader Elisa Brambati and Executive Producer Caterina Carlini. The BMFLs and other lighting equipment for the re-opening event were provided by New Light “Milano”.