Clay Paky projectors, including Stage Zoom 1200s and CP Color 400s, have been installed in the Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow, adding to the existing lighting system, which consists of traditional theatre units.

Founded in 1776 by Peter Urussov, the Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow has played host to prestigious works by Mozart, Rossini and Auber. Since the 19th century, it has welcomed any number of national and international companies, including Milan’s La Scala Opera and the Paris Opera. The Bolshoi employs approximately 2,500 people, including 900 ballet dancers, musicians, singers, and actors. With its magnificent building, elegant rooms, fine costume design, stage sets, and choreograpy, not to mention its two unusual theatre stages, it is undoubtedly one of the most important cultural institutions of contemporary Russia.


According to the Bolshoi’s LD, Damir Ismagilov, “The Stage Zooms 1200 are often used with other theatre lights, in performances requiring up to 1,000 lights per scene. However, they are even more characteristic on their own, when creating contrasting lighting effects, for instance. Let’s take for example the “Patibolo” scene from the opera Khovanshchina by M. Mussorgsky: at a certain point, a beam has to illuminate a stump on stage with utmost precision from a height of 12m. Stage Zoom does this job easily and effectively, which would otherwise be very difficult with ordinary projectors.”

Speaking of the CP Color, he says, “These are multi-purpose washlights with different filters and lenses that can diffuse or concentrate the beam in a 10° to 80° angle, adapting to all projection needs. The CMY color mixing system, with pure dichroic filters, gives me any shade I like. It also features a dimming effect and a choice of two 400W discharge lamps, which guarantee superb luminosity. These are all enclosed in a small, light, and functional structure. Depending on the performance, we can install them on a flight of stairs for lighting a scene, or use them for creating color backdrops. One of the main advantages of CP Color 400 is that it can illuminate large areas from a short distance: this means you can create extraordinary vertical structures with changing colors. It is an ideal tool for the theatre, as it is reliable, versatile, and simple to use. It also features fantastic color quality and DMX512 digital control.

In Khovanshchina, we use [the CP Color] for creating backdrops and leave it to work for the entire opera, which can last up to three hours. We paint the decorations in the foreground to get the right shade for this particular setting. The opera’s decorations were specially painted light grey, so that we could "color" them with light. The projectors manage to create any color perfectly: warm or cold tones, or even white, all in perfect harmony with the music. In fact, we mustn't forget that we work in a musical theatre, so music determines the opera’s panorama of light and color. I have to say that Stage Zoom 1200 and ÑP Color 400 have given lighting designers a new standard in lighting quality, which was unheard of until a few years ago. Clay Paky projectors are now being used in all kinds of performances, concerts and plays, which come to life on the new Bolshoi theatre stage. For more information about Clay Paky, click here.