GLP lights Vienna Summer Night Concert
Thursday, 15 August 2019
viennaSince 2004, the Klassik-Open-Air has attracted tens of thousands of music lovers each year
Austria - It is one of the major cultural highlights of the city of Vienna: the Summer Night Concert by the Vienna Philharmonic. Since 2004, the Klassik-Open-Air has attracted tens of thousands of music lovers each year to the Schönbrunn Palace Gardens. This year's concert, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, took place on 20 June in front of around 85,000 people. In addition, the concert was broadcast by public service broadcaster ORF.
For the second time, Jerry Appelt, was responsible for the lighting design. "The Vienna Philharmonic itself suggested the somewhat contemporary implementation of the concert,” he states. “I think that's very brave and I'm glad that concept suited both them and us.”
In 2019, the large, arched-roof platform was again positioned directly in front of the castle, while the audience in the garden spread out between the ornamental flower beds towards the Gloriette. Of course, in addition to all the architectural elements such as the castle, the real challenge was still primarily to illuminate the great classical orchestra on stage for this grand event.
But the design concept went far beyond this. "Thanks to the open stage with a transparent roof, we were able to include the castle as a background in the staging," continues Appelt. "This year, the green areas, the Neptune Fountain and the Gloriette also formed part of the stage lighting. Our aim was to integrate the overall concept in the best possible way in the concert process and make it work. "
For this mammoth task, the internationally renowned designer primarily relied on LED fixtures from the GLP portfolio. More than 440 of their luminaires were used. Appelt turned to the impression X4 L to bathe the castle in light and create a stunning backdrop to the orchestra that he was able to emphasise with colour accents during the course of the concert.
The white light onstage was created by 54 GLP impression S350 spots and 28 impression S350 Wash. "I really like the impression S350 Wash. For medium-sized studios and concert areas this is a really great all-purpose tool. Both the S350 Wash and S350 Spot are, in my opinion, a contemporary alternative for applications that once were predominantly covered with fixed zoom profiles. The S350s also deliver a perfect, camera-friendly output, which was vital for the ORF broadcast of the Summer Night Concert."
While the S350 spots occupied the keylight positions, the S350 Wash in the lower stage area served as a softer source.
For the audience light - especially for the distant positions, such as the area in front of the Neptune Fountain, Appelt used 24 pieces of the new GLP Highlander Wash.
"The Highlander Wash provided sufficient output despite the long distances," says the designer.
In addition, 24 GLP X4 atom, equipped with micro Fresnel lenses, served as decorative lighting with 60 more arranged as single spotlights in the direction of camera. 26 impression X4 Bar 20 and six X4 Bar 10 served as further set, architectural and decorative lighting, while the numerous statues in the castle gardens were illuminated with 48 of the new Fusion Stick FS20 bars, one of the new IP65 rated fixtures from GLP.
"I would like to thank the Vienna Philharmonic, in particular Thilo Fechner, for the confidence placed in us,” concluded Jerry Appelt.
Appelt was assisted by lighting director Manfred Nikitser, lighting designer Markus Ruhnke, desk operators Otto Schildknecht and Emanuel Jörgner, and Dirk Hämmerling as gaffer. PRG was responsible for the technical implementation.
(Jim Evans)

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