Artiste Picasso joins Utah Festival Opera
Friday, 23 August 2019
ufomtwestsidestoryphoto-waldron-creative4West Side Story at the Ellen Eccles Theatre (photo: Waldron Creative)
USA - Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre is a popular five-week summer festival in Logan, Utah, that presents four fully staged works in repertory at the Ellen Eccles Theatre. Lighting designer Chris Wood, who just wrapped up his seventh season working on the festival as part of a top-notch cast and crew, had the opportunity to use Elation Artiste Picasso LED profile moving heads on this year’s productions - Newsies, West Side Story, Mary Poppins, and The Marriage of Figaro.
4 Wall in Las Vegas recommended the Picasso to Wood and although the fixture entered the lighting specification somewhat late, which didn’t give the designer much time to familiarize himself with it, he says he got better acquainted with the light through fixture documentation. “I appreciate that Elation puts out a lot of photometric data,” Wood says, “which gave me really good information about what the fixture could do and what the light would look like without actually seeing it in person. That was very helpful in planning.”
This was the first year they went completely with LED moving lights with the Artiste Picassos replacing some noisier arc source fixtures. “When you’ve got 30 moving lights in a theatre and it’s basically an opera company, trying to keep arc sources cool is a substantial problem,” says the designer. “Once manufacturers started coming out with fixtures with cold white LED engines in moving lights, like the Picasso, we knew we wanted to start shifting in that direction and as a consequence, the noise level in the theatre has come down substantially.”
Wood placed 12 Artiste Picasso units over stage at about a 28ft trim height - three units per electric - for specials, textures, etc., with two units at front of house for textures and washes. The range of shows required the designer to delve into the unit’s feature set with Wood finding some creative uses for its rotating four-blade framing system.
With four shows in repertory, Wood says the Picasso’s two gobo wheels were extremely handy with enough diversity in design that he didn’t have to change them out.
(Jim Evans)

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