Saudi Arabia – The opening ceremony of the top division of the Saudi Arabian football championship, the Saudi Professional League, was lit by Clay Paky. The multifaceted director Marco Boarino created a short intensive show at the King Fahd International Stadium.
He has worked for many years with the lighting designer Emiliano Morgia and was entrusted with the lighting and visual aspects of the event in full harmony with the production agency 360 Mena, run by Pietro Scanziani. Morgia designed the lighting rig together with the service company Giochi Di Luce Dubai using Clay Paky lights after listening to the production team’s requests and performance needs, and after assessing the characteristics of the sports facility located in the Saudi Arabian desert. The stadium is primarily used for the Arabic nation’s football matches and holds up to seventy thousand people.
“However,” Morgia revealed, “for matters related to time and budget, it was not possible to build a suitable structure or hang any lights or other appliances. We had to adapt our ideas and create the lighting design by placing the lights on the ground. I placed 48 Sharpys around the entire playing field. Their incredible brightness was amazing even in surroundings the size of the Riyadh stadium.”
The director put together and coordinated the work of dozens and dozens of artists and performers for the occasion. Twenty four Alpha Profile 1500s were used to illuminate the spectacular choreographies that creatively invaded the pitch. They were chosen for their incredible power, their versatility and their precise beam control.
On the subject of back lighting, Morgia said: “I decided to use sixteen Mythos units, which allowed me total precise control over the colours, along with a multiplicity of visual effect options thanks to the variety of gobos and dynamic effects built into the lights. Despite the small lamp (700 W), the light output was extraordinary.”
Room was found for twenty four A.Leda Wash K10s in the centre of the field. They are small and lightweight to handle and are the first range of Clay Paky professional lights to use LEDs as their light source. Morgia added: “I simply have to say that I adore the colour quality of these lights infinitely and I have fallen in love with the shades of white I can get using them.”
“The fact that, so far from home, I can use lights of such a technologically high level which are made in Italy makes me proud of the high consideration I have for the Italian company.
The whole show lasted twelve minutes. It was a kind of extra time at the beginning before the starting whistle blew. The Clay Paky lighting rig was used to illuminate the stadium and create an evocative stage context for the 140 performers. It was also used to light the entire playing field where the artists performed an explosive, exciting mass choreography.
The lighting system was managed and programmed by associate lighting designer Giordano Baratta, who used two Ma2 Light consoles networked together. He pre-programmed the whole show using WYSIWYG.
Morgia also expressed his special thanks to Giochi di Luce Dubai “for the incredible support and service provided during this production. Working in a stadium is never a simple thing, but thanks mainly to the technical direction of Mirco Resta, the team was able to do a great job.”
The show was broadcast on television in Saudi Arabia, throughout the Middle East and across the Arabian Gulf, and was seen by a record breaking audience.