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Clay Paky on Renzo Arbore and the Orchestra Italiana's 2015 summer tour
Lighting Designer
Paco Toscano
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Italy – Renzo Arbore sits on the chair in front of Fabio Fazio as it is announced that he will be the special guest in the final show of Che Fuori tempo che fa (Fazio’s talk show). The transmission will be devoted to Quelli della notte, one of the most popular late night variety programmes in the history of Italian television, which went on the air thirty years ago.
Renzo Arbore has always loved jazz and Neapolitan music classics. For the release of “… e pensare che dovevo fare il dentista…”  (…and to think I was supposed to become a dentist…), he is leading his Orchestra Italiana, with his voice, clarinet and boundless charm, on a new summer tour that culminates on 7 September in Milan.

Gazebo Giallo (Arbore’s management company) turned to Paco Toscano to interpret the atmospheres of Arbore’s music with lights. “I joined the production team that organizes Arbore and the Orchestra Italiana’s tours in 2009. I was asked to come up with a lighting design to replace the previous one. To tackle the task I was assigned, I started from the idea of using warm light, with a temperature of 3200 K, to get the same quality and attractiveness as a Par 64 halogen light.”

“I decided to use Varilite VL500 wash lights. But what spotlight should I use? I needed a lightweight powerful spotlight that was not only reliable in terms of light output, but also electronically and mechanically.”

“My choice was immediately clear: 20 Clay Paky Alpha Spot HPE 700s. They have two gobo wheels, and are powerful and silent. They are also suitable for concerts both outdoors and in theatres. They were just the right spotlights for me. The rental firm backed me up in this choice by investing in the equipment I asked for and buying the lights I needed in order to put my idea together.”

“I use a battery of other lights to illuminate the backdrop and achieve a greater number of coloured planes and greater depth of field. The musicians are arranged on three tiers, which are lit by 20 LED bars. Polystyrene panels and light grey PVC borders are used to obtain uniform continuous lighting over the front of all the scenery.”

“At first I used a Hog 3 system with DP8000 and ran a Catalyst server to air videos on a LED wall. Later I decided to go back to controlling the lights from a desk so I could concentrate solely on the lighting part of the show.”

“In recent years, my work as the lighting designer for this show and my idea of entertainment have continued to gain consensus. This is also thanks to the cooperation between me, the show production team and the rental company. We have found the right financial, technical and human balance to allow me to realize my ideas without considerable sacrifices, at least as regards the equipment I consider necessary for the project to succeed.”