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Clay Paky and By Oskar-Light illuminate the Kurhaus’s Kursaal Room and the Puccini Theatre in Merano
By Oskar-Light
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A splendid combination of new and antique, technology and tradition, the Kursaal Room was designed and built in Liberty style in 1913, when the desire was to create an elegant and multi-functional environment of cultural and social reference for all the citizens within the nineteenth-century Kurhaus structure in Merano. Over the years, the Kursaal Room has hosted numerous events, from congresses to gala evenings, from classical concerts to modern dance music gigs, from fashion shows to a variety of worldly events.

In 2007 Kurhaus opted for a complete reorganization of the sound and light fittings, calling in to start with Audiotek and then the firm from Merano By Oskar-Light, owned by Oskar Stricker. The illumination system had to have a rather austere character as the Kursaal Room is the patrimony of the Fine Arts. It was necessary to use products that perfectly integrated with the environment, both visually and sound-wise.

“The first characteristic that the projector had to guarantee was that it functioned in total silence, something essential in every theatre and even more so in this type of context” Oskar Stricker explains to us. “Secondly we needed a halogen and dimmer product that could provide a very warm colour effect, suitable for enhancing the structure, and for the background lighting during the events.”

As agreed with the owners, they opted for motorised projectors, for the first time in this room, that would guarantee the possibility of being able to control them from the console. This would lead to substantial savings in time and resources, avoiding manual work on the spotlight at every new event.

Excluding therefore the traditional roller colorchanges, which are not practical and not at all silent enough, Oskar Stricker went for the Alpha Wash Halo 1200 by Clay Paky, the halogen washlight with a 1200W lamp, that would also guarantee mid-long distance lighting ranges.

The final obstacle was to get approval from the Institutions. In fact, every time that  restructuring work is done in an environment of historical or artistic importance, the project has to be carefully assessed by the Commission of Fine Arts, and only too often they totally reject the projects.

“Clay Paky gave us the possibility to choose the colour on the projector body from a range of colours in the catalogue – Oskar Stricker continues. “We chose the one we thought integrated best within the context, “creamy white”, and this was included in the technical parameters presented to the Commission. We are sure that this really helped us to get our approval!.”

Oskar Stricker required 8 Alpha Wash Halo 1200, all with a white painted body and base. The projectors were installed, four per side, in the spaces between the balconies and the barrel coverage in the room, hooked onto white support structures, and the entire system was perfectly “camouflaged” within the environment.

“The assistance that Clay Paky gave me, also during the after-sales phase, was praiseworthy” – Oskar Stricker says. “The firm gave us professional and prompt advice and services, even when there were some slight problems with the lamps.”

The projectors have already been used in the Kursaal Room for many events, for congresses and theatrical shows. Inside the Kurhaus structure (literally the “cure house”, a facility which is typical of spa towns which are traditionally dedicated to body treatments), there is also a room called the  “Pavillon des fleurs” where other Clay Paky Alpha Wash Halo 1200 where installed, for similar functions to those in the Kursaal Room.

Again in Merano, By Oskar-Light also installed some Alpha Wash Halo 1200 inside the Puccini Theatre. Mr. Stricker tells us: “The structure of this theatre is most peculiar as it folds in on itself. In practice the stage and the stalls are the same size, and this confers a most intimate atmosphere that is not easily found in other theatres.

This characteristic makes the Theatre, inaugurated on December 1st 1900, one of the most well known and picturesque in the area. The Theatre has a most important history, having hosted a permanent company and many international events.

Also in this case, I needed very silent projectors” – Stricker says. “There was no need in this case for projectors with colored bodies, because the products were installed in the corners of the balconies, and they almost entirely disappear out of sight.”

At the Puccini Theatre, By Oskar-Light installed other Alpha Wash Halo 1200, excellent for illuminating the characters of the scenes, and also for coloring the scenery. Often, in fact, the color of the scenes comes from the combination of the actual color of the scenery and the projection of colored light that reflects on it, creating an infinity of different chromatic combinations.

In the heart of the Alps, the cold city of Merano is therefore embraced by the warm colors of the Clay Paky halogens, as it prepares to welcome the events held during the Merano Music Festival Weeks (which take place from the end of August to the end of September), and this year the Kurhaus Centre and  the Puccini Theatre will definitely be an extra attraction.