Notti di Luce (Nights of Light) has been offering cultural events for eight years and has made the City of Bergamo an international destination for tourists rediscovering the pleasure of experiencing the city by night. This year Nights of Light widened its circle of associations, institutions, and businesses involved in the project: the organizing staff also included highly experienced architects Walter Barbero, who took charge of urban lighting, and Domenico Egizi, in charge of architectural interiors.
Nights of Light 2006 spread over two weeks, starting from the Feast Day of St. Alessandro, the Patron Saint of Bergamo. During the course of these two weeks light was used to pick out places and architecture in both the lower city and the upper, ancient one while, as is usual, the final evenings of the event were transformed into a festival of spectacles whose climax was the live appearance of singer Ron.
Clay Paky sponsored the event and supplied all the lighting materials for both the shows and the architectural spaces through the services of SG Lighting, which also looked after the installations.
“This year we wanted to create a very close link between the production and the lights” said artistic director Claudio Angeleri. “We wanted the light to do more than just light the stage and to become a veritable language of expression. The work of integrating the light and spectacle lasted almost a year, but we were truly very happy with the result: I see that this approach has aroused great interest and is about to be adopted for similar events in other cities.”
Gianbattista Scarpellini, SG Lighting manager, explains, “For the final evenings we had to provide two settings each day for the whole duration of Nights of Light. So a double team and a double set of lights were needed to ensure coverage of all the events in the programme. Our work was a true tour-de-force, because when one show finished we already had to prepare the setting for next day’s one. In cases like this it is important to be able to count on the reliability of the projectors used which, notwithstanding the continual movement from one set to another, never gave me any problems.”
The light system included various Clay Paky 1200W moving body units, as well as CP Color fixed units of different power (150W and 400W), particularly suitable for the backdrop of the shows and for the surrounding urban lighting.
In the center of Bergamo, as in many other cities, there is a strong presence of light due to the numerous shop windows, signs, street lighting and traffic. Barbero’s choice was to enhance and upgrade the historic architecture that, in everyday circumstances, runs the risk of being unnoticed. He therefore worked by subtraction, switching off some of the disturbing light sources and specifically lighting historical architectural sites and monuments.
Barbero designed a lighted route along the Sentierone, the old main road of the city, which has abdicated its function for years in favor of the more modern and traffic-ridden Via Vittorio Emanuele. “Many people rediscovered the historic importance of the old Sentierone, returning to their roots a little,” says Angeleri.
The design consisted of ten 300W light sources installed at a height of about 23 feet and equidistant from each other, to retain perfect visual perspective. Each of these light sources consisted of a Clay Paky V.I.P. with 300W discharge lamp and a good 13 feet of optic fibres connected to it. In its turn each group of optic fibres consisted of 200 threads that were left swinging in the void.
As part of the architectural upgrading project it was decided to light the Column of Via Sant’Alessandro, the only Roman remains in the city center. The lighting provided a route of light leading to the base of the column and then continuing onto the column itself. Two Clay Paky V.I.P. 300 units with their respective shapers were used to light the column.
The lighting also involved the Chamber of Commerce in Piazza Dante, the Church of San Bartolomeo and Palazzo Frizzoni. This involved fixed lighting in all cases, with the use of colors specially chosen by Barbero. Clay Paky CP Color 575 units, color changing projectors with IP65 protection level, were used to offer an infinite range of colors and a choice of lamps with different color temperatures.
Artistic director Claudio Angeleri concludes, “Shrewd use of the lighting was fundamental in reaching our ends and the great versatility of the Clay Paky projectors allowed us to implement all our projects, even if they were very numerous and different from each other. We are confident that our ideas can give valid pointers how to make cities more pleasant to live in, more human and fit for man.”