Arpege's DiGiCos at Monaco royal wedding

Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Arpege's DiGiCos at Monaco royal weddingThe Monaco Royal Wedding (photo: Patrick Aventurier/WireImage © Getty Images)
France / Monaco - With bases in Paris, Nice and Marseille, French rental company Arpege Son Lumiere is continually busy with festivals, live tours, television shows and corporate events. The company has invested heavily in DiGiCo consoles, which are in constant use.

With four SD7s, four SD8s, three SD9s and an SD Ten on its books, as well as several D1s and D5s, Arpege is committed to DiGiCo and 2011 is proving a particularly busy summer for the consoles.

One of the highest profile events to use the company's DiGiCo consoles was the wedding of Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and Charlene Wittstock. Multiple mixers were involved in the ceremony itself and associated celebrations.

First, on 30th June, was a concert by the Eagles in the 25,000-capacity Stade Louis II. Here Arpege provided the entire audio production, except Eagles backline, including the SD9.

Over the next two days, Arpege provided an SD7 and two SD Racks for the wedding's civil and religious ceremonies. The first took place in the Throne Room of the Prince's Palace, the second in the palace courtyard. The company broadcast the services via loudspeakers, which complemented video screens set up for local people to watch the ceremonies, with feeds to outside broadcast vans for media coverage.

Pierre Buisson was sound engineer for the wedding ceremony's international signal, Alexandre Capponi and Michel Ferrone for the palace courtyard PA and Philippe Barguirdjian was sound coordinator.

Located in a museum, the SD7s position was 900m away from the ceremony. Running dedicated cabling or fibre optic between the two was logistically impossible, so Arpege used the permanent fibre optics of Monaco Telecom.

The most spectacular of the events, a massive free concert by Jean Michel Jarre, took place on the evening of 1 June. A 120m wide stage for the show was built in the harbour at Port Hercules, necessitating the numerous boats moored there first being moved. Topping out the 35m high stage towers proved impossible for the cranes that had been originally ordered for the job, so helicopters from Heli Air Monaco were drafted in, using incredible skill to place Jarre's iconic 'eyes' logos in position.

"It was so fast, in 15 minutes they took all four tops for the towers and put them in place. It was so good that we used helicopters again to dismantle the whole set," says Arpege co-owner Philippe Barguirdjian.

Two SD7s were used on the show - with Front of House engineer Alain Courieux manning his usual position and Julien Vouillon at monitors with another SD7 - which was witnessed by over 85,000 people and concluded with a spectacular fireworks display.

For the final gala dinner an SD9 was utilised for all band and DJ entertainment in the opera hall.

(Jim Evans)

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