Four Robert Juliat Cyrano 2500w HMI followspots have been added to the lighting inventory of the Chester Fritz Auditorium at the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks. The 2,300-seat auditorium, named for the investment banker alumnus who helped fund it, hosts UND concert bands, a variety of dance and musical performances, lectures, comics (including a sold-out performance by Jerry Seinfeld) and theatre. The structure itself has a distinctive look rising to the height of a seven-story building and comprising more than two acres of interior floors; it’s constructed of steel framing and steel-reinforced concrete with an orange Hebron rock-faced brick and pre-cast concrete facade.
“Its a big theatre for the region,” notes technical director Pat Hill. “We were at the point where we needed new followspots. We had upgraded the rest of our lighting, and the intensity of our existing followspots was not enough—they were basically invisible with the new static fixtures.”
Hill and the lighting team demo’d a Robert Juliat Cyrano followspot as well as competing products owned by two arenas in town. “Cyrano had better light intensity, and our operators liked their ease of use,” he reports. Those factors resulted in the purchase of two Cyranos from HB Sound and Light in Grand Forks and another pair from Norcostco in Minneapolis. “We needed four fixtures so we wouldn’t have to rent any when we light major performances like a concert by the Oak Ridge Boys,” says Hill.
The Cyrano 2500w HMI followspot features a high-performance quartz condenser optical system, variable frost, built-in color correction and die-cut slots. Its compact and efficient design is ergonomic and robust. All working parts are readily accessible allowing easy maintenance.
According to Hill, “the Cyranos have been wowing everybody with their intensity. They are an excellent light. And since they are our first spots with the capability of firing gobos they’ve given us another option for showcasing the logos of corporate sponsors of events in the auditorium.
Apparently kudos for Cyrano run in the Hill family. “Incidentally, my sister works in Las Vegas and runs Cyranos, and her experience with the lights has been positive, too,” adds Hill.