Lighting designer Harry Frehner has been designing at The Banff Centre since 1992, where his numerous productions include Frobisher with Bob Bonniol. Their goal for Don Giovanni was to create “a blended vessel with a strong sense of key and color,” notes Frehner. “After rehearsal, we would exchange notes about shading, color, plasticity in the video echoed in the lighting, and a sense of the light and set enveloping the performers.”

Frehner used conventionals as top-light, with Philips Vari-Lite VL3500s used to continue breakup from the video onto the floor, and Vari-Lite VLXs added additional color. VL1000AS fixtures were primarily used as keylight, windows, and to cut through the conventionals. “As there is no change in the actual set, the 10 to 15 different continually changing locations are all done with kinetic motion in the lighting and video,” Frehner adds.

As the action takes place over 24 hours, the color palette in the lighting followed the natural progression through the day, from a warm Spanish afternoon to the cooler colors of the night. “The hell scene was Bob’s crowning glory,” notes Frehner. “The entire stage was engulfed in video flames, and it was pretty spectacular; it felt as if the whole set was melting. It was great working in tandem to create the visual effects and be part of the back and forth of the design process. I’d look at Bob’s work and build the lighting around that.”

“I adore Harry’s extremely thoughtful process,” says Bonniol. “Everything he does is motivated. Why is a light a given color? Why does it come from there? Why is it a particular quality? We had a lot of discussion about the psychology of a given moment, and we did a lot of talking about time of day and its impact on color temperature and lighting direction. One thing that works spectacularly well with projection mapping is simulating shadow generation. Harry and I were hand-in-hand on that. He would keep me clued in to his keylighting scheme in scenes, and I would match it in the projected architectural lighting. In the end, this mating of light and projection led to sets that felt like they were completely, convincingly dimensional.”

Lighting Gear
1 Philips Strand Light Palette 530
275 Conventional Fixtures (ETC Source Four and ColorTran)
4 Philips Vari-Lite VL3500Q Profile
4 Philips Vari-Lite VL1000AS
3 Philips Vari-Lite VLX
2 Rosco I-Cue Mirrors With Wybron Scroller
24 Apollo Scroller
12 Wybron CXI Color Mixing Scroller
3 GAM Film/FX Effects Unit with Fire Loop

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