White Light North

has been chosen as the lighting supplier for the 2003 Garsington Opera season, its 15th anniversary, which runs from June 14 to July 12. First established in 1989, Garsington Opera performs a repertoire of well-known operas and little-known works in a purpose-built semi-outdoor auditorium in the grounds of Garsington Manor near Oxford. The festival prides itself on staging works never before seen in the UK, and on providing a platform for new singers; for the successful realization of these aims, Garsington Opera received the European Culture Project Award for Performing Arts from the Pro Europa European Foundation for Culture.

For the last few years, the lighting design for Garsington--a challenging brief that involves incorporating the ever-changing outdoor lighting into the design for each production--has been handled by Bruno Poet. When putting together the package for this year's season, which includes Mozart's La Finta Giardiniera, Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Richard Strauss' Die Schweigsame Frau, Poet and the season's chief electrician, Vic Smerdon, decided to approach a number of lighting hire companies for quotes and suggestions as to how the rigging and installation might be realized. Following these discussions, White Light North was selected as the sole lighting supplier.

White Light North will supply a rig based around four Martin Professional MAC 2000 Performance moving spotlights and 12 MAC 600 moving wash lights as well as 100 PAR-64s, 40 ETC Source Fours, a dozen 5kW fresnels, one 2.5kW HMI fresnel, 14 Strand Coda floodlights, and two High End Systems Dataflash strobes as well as haze machines, smoke machines, and fans. Control will be from a Strand 520i console with backup and handheld remote running a 72-way Avolites Art 4000 dimmer rack plus 12 ways of 5kW dimming and 54 ways of non-dim control.

White Light North will also supply all of the electrical infrastructure for the season, including site power to all areas, exit boxes, music stands, cue lights, walkie-talkies, video relay and show relay, and paging. The company will also be supplying a vintage Patt 793 followspot, to be used as a prop in one of the operas. White Light North's Jack Thompson will be working with Bruno Poet and Vic Smerdon in the preproduction and installation phases.

Garsington is just one of many opera projects with which the White Light Group is involved, other recent projects having included supplying the moving lights to The Handmaid's Tale for the English National Opera at the Coliseum, and ongoing support and supply of new equipment to the automated rig at the Royal Opera House in London.