Robe T1s For Every Day of the Aus LICHT Week

Photo: by Ruth and Martin Walz at the Dutch National Opera.

Over 100 Robe T1 Profile LED moving lights were specified by the Dutch National Opera and Ballet’s lighting department for three performances of “Aus LICHT” directed by Pierre Audi and staged in the Gashouder venue in Amsterdam as part of the 2019 Holland Festival.

The epic performances each took place over three consecutive days delighting Karlheinz Stockhausen aficionados and opera buffs with a total of 15 hours of music per show, featuring selections from the iconic composer and sonic disruptor’s seven opera “Licht” cycle which takes place over seven days of the week.

“Aus LICHT” was a collaboration between the Dutch National Opera, Holland Festival, Royal Conservatoire of The Hague and the Stockhausen Foundation, created in cooperation with the wardens of Stockhausen’s legacy. Production lighting and set designer Urs Schönebaum created a design and sent his plot to the Dutch National Opera’s lighting department where it was interpreted and realised by their head of stage, Video and Lighting, Pieter Huijgen, and Lighting Manager Chief LX Cor van den Brink.

The primary need was for a quiet light source – less than 33 dBs – stipulated by Urs Schönebaum and Pierre Audi who are both leading international practitioners in the world of opera production. This was to provide the main general stage lighting required in the venue. Huijgen and van den Brink looked at what was available and narrowed down the field to four potential luminaires, one of which was the Robe T1 Profile. They conducted a shootout which was ‘won’ by the T1 presented by Kuno van Velzen from Robe’s Benelux distributor, Controllux.

They thought the colour temperature range between 2700k and 8000k, made possible due to the innovative way the LED engine mixes the whites, was perfect for this application. The fixtures were installed on 24 trusses rigged in the roof of the Gashouder, a charismatic circular chamber with an iron roof, once at the hub of Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek gasworks complex powering the city’s western suburbs.

It has now been redeveloped as an arts, cultural and leisure area. “Aus LICHT” was performed from three different staging positions around the venue. The T1 fixtures covered the entire space and were utilised as a powerful profile spot, they were not seen moving at any stage of the performance which unfolded over five or six acts per day, requiring some intense lighting programming.

In addition to meeting all the technical criteria, they were happy to go with Robe for the reliability, which Huijgen and van den Brink know about first-hand as they use Robe Spiider LED wash beam fixtures and LEDWash 1200s and 300s in the Opera’s house rig. They also frequently cross rent other Robe’s luminaires like the DL7 series for specific shows.