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“Les Feluettes” Debuts at the Opera de Montreal with Clay Paky Scenius Spots
Lighting Designer
Martin Labrecque
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CANADA – “Les Feluettes” (“Lilies”) made its world premiere at the Opera de Montreal recently playing to full houses during its four-night run.  Lighting designer Martin Labrecque utilized seven Clay Paky Scenius Spots for the new production. 

“Les Feluettes,” with a book by Michel Marc Bouchard and music by Kevin March, is a play within a play.  It begins as a prison confessional and unfolds as a love story spanning 1912-1957, a time when same-gender relationships were conducted largely in secret.

The opera marked Labrecque’s first use of Scenius Spots.  He frequently deploys other Clay Paky fixtures using them on Cirque du Soleil productions and the Pan American Games’ opening ceremonies last summer.

For “Les Feluettes,” Labrecque lit eight tableaux showing different locations and time periods in monochromatic palettes of amber or blue.  The orchestra sat upstage, behind a black scrim, instead of in the pit.

“Because the orchestra was on stage, all the action took place downstage.  So we created four FOH positions for the primary Scenius fixtures, which were mostly used as general ambience and gobo washes, mostly in white or full CTO,” Labrecque explains.  Three additional Scenius were positioned on stage as backlights.

For the big fire sequence projections of the blaze were mixed with Scenius lighting effects on a giant white sheet suspended over the stage.  “We combined the projections with Scenius in its color mode and with two gobos to make the fire look as realistic as possible,” says Labrecque.  “Scenius worked very well with the video sequence; everything blended together well.”

The lighting designer was impressed by the fixtures’ “quality of optics and bright, white lamps.  They had a really good feeling,” he says.  Labrecque was also pleased that when Scenius was operating in the quiet mode required by the production the fixtures maintained their power.

Patrick Belzile, technical director for the Opera de Montreal, echoes that observation.  “The quietness of Scenius allowed us to hang some of the [fixtures] at very close audience proximity,” he says.  “The brightness, versatility, reliability and quality of construction of Scenius were outstanding.  We were glad to have the opportunity to use them; they scored a great achievement!”

Labrecque notes that with just three days in the theater to put together the production he had no time to program Scenius and only scratched the surface of what the fixtures can do.  “This production whet my appetite for next time,” he says.  “It was a chance to try Scenius and was a great first experience.  I want to dig deeper and do more things next time.”

A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky.

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, added, “We’re very excited about our newest fixture and glad to see such a creative individual as Mr. Labrecque using it.”