LA Opera Embraces LED Lighting for Rigoletto Designed by Robert Wierzel

by Stage Directions
Rigoletto at LA Opera, lit by LD Robert Wierzel. LA Opera. Photo© LA Opera technical department
Rigoletto at LA Opera, lit by LD Robert Wierzel. LA Opera. Photo© LA Opera technical department

The Los Angeles Opera has invested in Signify's LED-based Philips Vari-Lite VLZ Profile fixtures as part of its stage lighting rig. LA Opera's current production of Verdi's Rigoletto, with lighting design by Robert Wierzel, is the first production in its history lit with a predominantly LED lighting rig. [Editor’s Note: Signify became the new company name of Philips Lighting as of May 16, 2018.] The LA Opera staging of Rigolleto was directed by Mark Lamos and features striking scenic perspectives by scenic designer, Michael Yeargan and elaborate period costumes from costume designer, Constance Hoffman along with Wierzel's vivid lighting. Here's a video from LA Opera showing off the creative team's work.

"We already hold a stock of Vari-Lite VL3500 Spots and Washes, VL3000s, and VL4000 BeamWash fixtures, so we were very interested in the VLZ Profile when they became available recently,” says Jeff Kleeman, LA Opera's technical director. "Initially we were drawn to the impressive 24,000 lumens output—they are bright, even brighter than our VL3500s. We've had zero issues with the exceptional light source, which creates a large and particularly even field. But there is so much more to like about the VLZ. The color spectrum, the shuttering system, the low power consumption, which is critical for the venue, and then there's the very quiet operation: quiet is a big deal for us."

Kleeman adds, "Our work schedule means that, although we begin the design process months in advance, it is only a week prior to load-in when we pull and prep fixtures before the get-in. There is usually a pretty tight window to rig, hang, and focus the light, so the small, light VLZ fixtures make that process all the smoother. They have absolutely met our expectations."

In 1987, LA Opera was the first opera company to utilize a complete Vari-Lite moving light rig, using VL2 and VL3 luminaires to light Tristan und Isolde, designed by David Hockney and directed by Jonathan Miller. The company has been a regular user of the Vari-Lite brand ever since.

Rigoletto at LA Opera, lit by LD Robert Wierzel. LA Opera. Photo© LA Opera technical department"For an artistic organization of such prestige to commit to the VLZ Profile as part of its stage lighting rig is a great vote of confidence in the quality of our world-leading LED luminaire technology,” says Martin Palmer, Philips Vari-Lite Product Manager for Signify. “We are delighted that LA Opera has chosen to continue its long history with the Vari-Lite brand and we look forward to working with them in the future."

Signify became the new company name of Philips Lighting as of May 16, 2018. The legal name of Signify will be adopted across all global markets in the course of 2018-2019. Signify's Entertainment Lighting Group comprises the Philips Vari-Lite, Philips Strand Lighting, and Philips Selecon brands, as well as the Philips Showline range of LED stage luminaires.

For further information from Signify: www.lighting.philips.com/main/products/entertainment-lighting

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