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Clay Paky Alphas lead the charge in wartime rock opera, Pietro e Lucia
Lighting Designer
Petr ‘Panki’ Volek
Pink Panther
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Clay Paky Alpha Beams 1500 have been used as the key lighting tool for a technically ambitious, 360-degree staging of Pietro e Lucia, based on the 1920s anti-war novel by French novelist Romain Rolland. Focusing on the impact of the First World War on the lives of two lovers, the show is a monumental multimedia combination of dance, film, rock and opera, featuring soloists from Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet, Italian opera stars, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic Choir, together with rock musicians.

The production involves a circular stage and uses 3D animated film in place of traditional scenery. The Alpha 1500 Beams – powerful moving fixtures with a pure, parallel beam – were chosen by the designers for their ability to provide powerful but high-definition mid-air beams. They form the key component of the lighting rig, and are used as a complement to the cinematic scenery – in one instance the Alphas’ well defined beams evoke architectural columns in a scene set in a church, while in another they are used to represent cannons in an artillery scene.

Lighting designer Petr ‘Panki’ Volek, from Prague-based lighting and sound production company Pink Panther, created the lighting design independently of the film sequences, but programmed the colours and timing of the lighting cues to match the animated films.

The Alpha Series has become a frequently used tool for lighting TV and theatre productions due to its reputation for optical quality – the sharpness of the beam, the colours, and the lack of fuzziness and discolouration around the edge of the beam. “Our company rented Alpha Beams last year, which we tested on several live shows before, and we find them an incredible tool for our opera,” said stage designer Radek Havlicek of Pink Panther.

Premiered in Prague, the production will be taken around the world in 2011, touring in China, Japan and the US among other countries.