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Lighting Designer
Mikki Kunttu
Mikki Kunttu Oy
Photo Credits
Mikki Kunttu
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Clay Paky’s Alpha Beam 300 recently aided a dynamic mix of choir-meets-rock’n’roll at Kuorosota (“Battle of the Choirs”) in Lahti, Finland. The format is similar to a singing contest, although the participants are not what you would expect. If you’re picturing a stoic and formally robed choir singing hymnals, you’re way off. After all, this is Finland.

The concept of the program is that choir leaders, who are already established in the music industry, pick ordinary people for a choir from their respective hometowns. The choirs then compete with popular songs during a six-week live television broadcast, with long hair and rock music a common theme. TV viewers vote and determine the winner, and each week another choir gets voted off. The final winner gets to select a charity from their town to receive 40000 Euros. Approximately half a million people watch every week, which is roughly one-tenth of the population of Finland.

The live television broadcasts at held at Lahti Hall on TV channel Nelonen Finland, produced by Heidi Karsikko of Metronome Film & Television and directed by Niko Nykänen.

The elaborate stage, lighting, sound and rigging for the 2009 broadcasts were done by Mikki Kunttu Oy, with Kunttu as Production Designer. He designed an electrically-charged stage and lighting scheme to match the energy onstage. The workhorses of the show were 24 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 300 fixtures, controlled by a GrandMA Fullsize and a GrandMA NSP. Lighting Operator was Pasi Saari.

Kunttu said, “In Kuorosota the Alpha Beams brought in a very important dimension to the lighting. They added a lot of needed depth into the backgrounds in a lot of camera shots. I really like the simplicity of the fixture and the punch it delivers.”

The plot played out like any episode of reality television, with the “sweetheart”, Marion Rung of Helsinki, a former Eurovision finalist, the “rebel”, Veeti Kallio of Salo, former member of Leningrad Cowboys, and “the sexiest man alive”, Timo Kotipelto of Lappajärvi, earning his title by fanzine Metal Breakdown. It’s addictive if not thoroughly entertaining.

The final votes put Timo Kotipelto and his choir on top, making them the 2009 Kuorosota Champs. Timo decided the charity money should go for music education and band rehearsal spaces in Lappajärvi.