Robe Takes The Heat at Masada

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Over 100 Robe moving lights were utilised for the Israeli Opera's amazing production of Verdi's "Nabucco", a stunning site specific work staged in a purpose built open air arena at the foot of Masada Mountain at the Dead Sea in Israel.

Robe also made custom reflectors and special framing gobos for its ColorSpot 2500E AT fixtures, to facilitate the very specific requirements of leading Israeli lighting designer Avi Yona Bueno (Bambi), who wanted to have a super-tight beam to isolate different areas onstage, whilst retaining the intensity of the light path.

The 84 ColorSpot 2500E ATs, 20 brand new ColorBeam 2500E ATs and 24 REDWash 3●192s were supplied - together with all the other stage lighting equipment for the event - by UK based HSL, working for Tel Aviv and Jerusalem based Stage Design, the event's overall technical provider.

It was a seriously tough operating environment for any piece of equipment - in the middle of the desert, dealing with 47 degree heat, humidity, wind, dust and frequent sandstorms, but the Robe's once again proved they were among the toughest and most durable moving lights on the market. "The Robe needed minimal maintenance and far less attention than any other piece of kit," confirms HSL's crew chief Ian Stevens.

The high profile 6 day event was completely sold out. It attracted 6500 opera fans each night and was the first such cultural event in Israel to attract international tourists.

The task of delivering the entire technical infrastructure and most of the site build was co-ordinated by Eyal Lavee of Stage Design.

Lighting positions were always going to have to be from the sides and front with a few at floor level - leaving the site lines clear for an unimpeded view of the mountain at the back of the stage. On the lighting front, Lavee had already been talking to Bambi for some time, and as the design evolved, Bambi identified some very special features that he ideally needed to light the show.

Lavee and Bambi both visited Robe at Prolight&Sound in Frankfurt and discussed this with MD Josef Valchar.

Always keen to listen to designers, and recognising the special nature and significance of the Nabucco production, Robe were keen to get onboard, and decided to engineer the two elements required for the ColorSpot 2500E ATs - which were delivered in a very short timescale.

Says Bambi, "They could not have been more helpful. I was very impressed that a manufacturer can be this flexible and genuinely enthusiastic, and I am always happy to work with Robe and their products".

Nitzan Rafaeeli's minimal stage set, left plenty of work to be achieved with the lighting in terms of colouring and texturing.

The ColorSpots were hung all over the two 19 metre high by 24 metre wide side gantries and also right across the FOH gantry. The side towers were 52 metres apart and the FOH gantry was 50 metres from the stage, so he really needed all their power to make an impact.

The new reflectors - now available as an accessory from Robe - more than doubles the light output when the bespoke 'shutter' gobos are in the unit and narrow the beam path right down.

Bambi used the shutters to pin-point groups of performers and areas of the stage, sometimes subtly illuminating sections of the action, others creating a highly attractive patchwork of bold colours across the stage.

Another first for this production was the use of 20 of Robe's new ColorBeam 2500E ATs, a unit launched just two months previously at Prolight&Sound 2010 - and the first units off the production line were shipped out to Masada. Following the huge success of other Beam type fixture in the Robe range, the new 2500 version was developed and produces an incredibly bright, concentrated tight beam.

For Nabucco, these were installed beneath the stage blasting upwards through the grilled sections.

The REDWash 3●192s were rigged around the sides and front of stage, just offset it, on custom-fabricated brackets. These were used to sweep the floor with powerful saturated streaks of light, their homogenised lightsources producing a totally different quality of light that both contrasted with and complimented the MSR bulbs of the ColorSpots.

Nabucco at Masada was a massive success, setting new technical production benchmarks and creating a real buzz throughout the country.

For more press info. on Robe Lighting, please contact Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679/+44 (0)7831 329888 or Email ‘louise@loosplat.com'. For more product and general info, check www.robe.cz or call + 420 571 751 510.

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