Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Estonia - Vanemuine Theatre in Estonia's cultural hub of Tartu has premiered the country's first version of the classic ABBA jukebox musical Mamma Mia! with a non-replica version licensed by Musical Theatres International (MTI) staged in Vanemuine’s Big House auditorium, directed by Ain Mäeots with lighting designed by Meelis Lusmägi.
Meelis has taken full advantage of Vanemuine’s house rig which includes a substantial amount of Robe moving lights, weaving 20 x MMX Spots, 10 x 600E Spots, 30 x LEDWash 1200s and 12 x LEDWash 600s into his scheme for the lively and colourful show set on the Greek island of Kalokairi on the eve of Sophie’s wedding to Sky.
Ain assembled the creative team for this show and Andres Sarv, head of lighting at Vanemuine initially suggested that Meelis would be a great choice. He's also worked on previous musicals and other productions with Ain, who understands the crucial importance of technical elements like lighting in any production and to the completion of his vision. He and Ain have a fluid creative dialogue with each understanding what the other needs and wants to achieve in respect of telling the story.
The lights are all rigged on the Big House’s extensive above-stage house bar system. The MMX Spots are being used for effects, gobo looks, texturing the set, etc. and for all the big dance numbers when the stage needs to come alive and look very animated. The MMX offers “an excellent range” of effects says Meelis.
The LEDWashes are used for all the basic stage washes. The 600E Spots are used for specials and for supporting the MMX Spots with another layer of effects and atmospheric treatment.
The production, executive produced by Marika Goldman, will also play the Nordea Concert Hall in Tallinn, and is expected to run for several months, such has been the demand for tickets.