Robe helps illuminate Durham Cathedral for Sting Holiday Special

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Over 100 Robe moving lights - a combination of ColorWash 1200E ATs and ColorWash 2500E ATs were supplied by Blackburn, UK, based rental company HSL, to illuminate a Holiday TV Special and DVD shoot staged by Sting in Durham Cathedral.

Lighting designer for the show was Manfred "Ollie" Olma. The Cathedral dates back to 1039, and it's incredible architecture provided a hugely atmospheric and aesthetically captivating set and backdrop to the show, for which Sting was backed by 35 guest musicians, including string and brass sections.

Robes were used for all the stage, key and architectural lighting.

As there are no lighting positions in the Cathedral - this is the first time a show of this scale has been staged there - HSL fabricated special brackets which were attached to columns in the Nave that were immediately in front of the stage area. The stage was below 'The Crossing' - the core of the Cathedral. Each steel bracket supported 2 Robe ColorWash 1200E ATs, the weight was distributed down to the floor, and the brackets were strapped to the columns and tensioned with BB winches.

More key-lighting was achieved with ColorWash 1200E ATs rigged on the triforium level, a balcony area 12 metres off the ground surrounding most of the stage area. Also on here were some ColorWash 2500E ATs, used for additional power and punchy back and side lighting, sweeping in to and across the stage.

The remainder of the fixtures were distributed up and down the Nave (where the audience were seated). They were positioned out to the edges, sat on flight cases to give some height, and largely concealed behind the columns that run the length of the Nave. Additional Robes were ensconced in the Quire, the area directly behind the stage. Arranging them in this fashion meant that all the various interior features, textures and shapes - however high up - could be highlighted or washed as required.

The Robes were used for a whole range of colouration effects, carefully crafted by Olma to look good both on camera and for the live audience attending the 2 nights of shows.

HSL are one of the most proactive rental companies in the UK and have a large stock of Robe moving and digital lights. Mike Oates, HSL's project manager for the event, which was recorded by German-based SIVision, said, "Robes were ideal fixtures for the job - they are reliable and versatile. Ollie really created an enchanting environment for the show with the way he lit the Cathedral and the performance, and it was a great pleasure for HSL to be involved in the project".

Olma and programmer Markus Janning ran the show using 2 grandMA full size consoles.

HSL's crew of 5 was chiefed by Simon "Piggy" Lynch.

"Sting: A Winter's Night..." was directed and produced by the Emmy award winning team, Jim Gable and Ann Kim of Graying & Balding, Inc.

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