No newcomer to unusual concerts, Italian singer/ songwriter Claudio Baglioni took over Rome's Olimpico soccer stadium to help celebrate the Italian Football Federation's 100th anniversary, held in June. This was the first time the entire stadium had hosted a musical performance.
The four-pointed stage, shaped like a star and totaling 10,000 sq. ft. (900 sq. m), had no side panels and a large conveyor belt crossing its octagonal "nucleus." Two points were 130' (40m) long and two were 82' (25m) long; all were tapered from 26' (8m) at the center to 13' (4m) at the ramp leading on to the track round the turf.
Baglioni and LD Pepi Morgia decided not to mount any lighting support structure on the turf, and only use uplighting onstage. A total of 144 Vari*Lite(R) VL5s(TM) and 68 VL2Cs(TM) were mounted around the perimeter of the set, in groups of two VL5s and one VL2C alternated with a single VL5. Four VL5s were on the corners of the four mobile mini-stages that supported Baglioni's six-piece band, and another four were around the access stairs where the points met the heart. Others lit a plethora of supporting performers: an illusionist, string and brass quintets, 20 dancers and mimes, and 100 acrobats and athletes (pictured).
Morgia says, "I suggested the star-shaped set with all the effects lighting floor-mounted. Claudio and the TV crew shooting the concert were initially perplexed; they needed lighting from above, a problem we solved with 20 Strong Gladiators and Super Troupers positioned around the stadium roof. It was very daring."
Clay Paky Golden Scan HPEs (12 under the longer points and seven under the shorter ones) were mounted under the stage at 45 degrees, with their heads downward and their light beamed out onto the turf. These, plus two Coemar NAT 2500s on each tip of the star (with their heads level with the stage), two more on each free side of the center, and three High End Systems Studio Colors(R) on each wing for ground lighting, fired light out all around the stage. On several occasions they gave the impression that the entire structure was suspended in the air.
Massimo Gasbarro and Emiliano Morgia manned an Artisan(R) Plus and a Flying Pig Systems Wholehog II for the show, whose lighting director and followspot coordinator, Eneas Mackintosh, helmed a Jands Hog 600 to control the conventional lights and strobes. With theatrical direction by Baglioni and Morgia, and overall technicalconsultation by Pino Chiodo, the event definitely gave the 90,000-strong crowd and the 4.7 million viewing at home an eyeful of spectacle.