Raffa in the Sky - ‘a story that travels the path of the surreal and the paradox’
Italy - Raffa in the Sky is a tribute opera to Raffaella Carrà, a prominent Italian TV personality. It is the story of an artistic career that not only evolved with the changes in Italian society over the last half a century but occasionally inspired them. Through Carrà's extraordinary experience, the work also aims to reflect on the artist's role in society, the value and use of art, and the role of television and other media, not forgetting the songs she performed.
Show lighting designer Alessandro Anderoli comments: "The Fondazione del Teatro Donizetti has been working with Claypaky for over a year, and there was a mutual desire for a Bergamo-based partnership. Moreover, the Claypaky technical team have always solved our problems promptly when needed. This is an absolute linchpin for me.”
Alessandro Andreoli elaborates on the role of the Claypaky Sinfonya Profile during the show: "Its special value in this opera lies in its main feature, the ability to vary the colour temperature of the LED engine, along with the light's extraordinary technical performance across all parameters. From the beginning, it was clear that the Italian national broadcasting company (RAI) was going to film the opera, and the Sinfonya Profiles enabled me to confidently program the fixtures during rehearsals, knowing that I could later optimise the effects without drastically altering them once we were joined by the technicians for the shoot. They had specific colour temperature requirements for balanced in-camera images.
In addition to the Sinfonya Profiles, the lighting rig also included 10 Claypaky Xtylos units, six Claypaky Sharpy-X-Frames, 16 Tambora Flash fixtures, four B-EYE K25s and 12 Midi-B WWs.
Referring to the Xtylos units, Andreoli adds: “The director was looking for a lighting effect that could both emulate a 'heavenly ray' for Raffa's entrance and simultaneously represent a 'cage' as the narrative unfolded. We tried various options including the use of fibre optics and LED strips on frameworks, but it was when we saw the Xtylos in action that we immediately realised we had the solution. It was the perfect fit for us with its powerful, concentrated beam, zoom capabilities and gobos.”
Sharpy X Frames were used as backlighting on the backing singers’ podiums, and one was placed upfront to create a spotlight effect.
The use of the powerful, hybrid Tambora Flash units, which can operate simultaneously as strobe lights, washlights and blinders, was very distinctive. Andreoli notes: “We slightly angled the Tambora Flash beams for backlighting so that the four lamps were clearly visible, which turned out to be the right choice.”
The Midi-Bs were used as space-filling washlights. Eight were mounted on the battens on stage, two in the auditorium to support the front-lighting, and the last two as sidelights in front of the curtain, one on each side. The latter are essential in supporting all proscenium scenes with the frame folded down due to the compact size of the light itself.”
Andreoli concludes: "I would like to thank the entire Claypaky team, and especially Alberico, Daniele, Giulia and Sandro for the support I have received from the very beginning of the project, which goes back several months before the staging."
Massimo Boffelli, general director of the Fondazione del Teatro Donizetti, comments: "The Fondazione del Teatro Donizetti is very proud to work with Claypaky. Our partnership brings together two internationally acclaimed Bergamo-based organisations and allows directors and lighting designers to express their creative ideas fully, even in the case of unique and experimental projects like 'Raffa in the Sky'. We are confident that our alliance will continue in the coming years, touching new aspects of the Fondazione del Teatro Donizetti's programme and events."
Claypaky sales director Alberico D'Amato adds: "We are proud to provide our most advanced technology to the Teatro Donizetti, which has always been an institution for the people of Bergamo and a global benchmark in the theatre world.”

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