Met Opera House opts for Artiste Monet
Monday, 4 November 2019
the-met-operaporgy-and-bessphoto-by-ken-howard4The first production of Porgy and Bess at the Met since 1990 (photo: Ken Howard)
USA - Home to the Metropolitan Opera, the Metropolitan Opera House (Lincoln Centre) in New York City has recently installed 70 Elation Professional Artiste Monet LED profile moving head luminaires with Donald Holder the first to use the new rig of award-winning lights on Porgy and Bess. Lighting supply was by 4Wall Entertainment.
The Met’s resident lighting designer, John Froelich, was instrumental in choosing the Artiste Monet and cited three main reasons for its choice. “The output of the LED source was very bright. The native colour of the LED engine was the most appealing to me. Most LED profiles that were tested had a slight green bias that was really hard to manage quickly from a creative standpoint. In a large, fast-paced repertory environment like ours it was such a great thing to find a source that was so artistically appealing.
“The SpectraColor system opens up a lot of possibilities from a creative standpoint. The ability to mix to super saturated colours without having to revert to the use of colour chips is really advantageous.
He continues, “The system also allows me access to subtle reds, blues and greens that are near impossible to mix with the primary Cyan, Magenta, Yellow mixing system. Having access to these types of colours without losing light output due to the heavy amount of coloured glass in the lens assembly is quite a game changer.
The Monet fixtures, along with a complement of Elation Chorus Line ST LED battens, have replaced the entire overhead lighting rig at the Met, everything from a standard tungsten Fresnel to a high output 4KW HMI theatre Fresnel. “It is quite a wide range of lighting equipment and the transition has been fairly smooth,” Froelich says. The Chorus Line luminaires were custom made for the venue with RGBA LEDs for a broader colour spectrum.
The Metropolitan Opera opened its 2019/2020 season on 23 September with a new production of the Gershwin and Heyward opera Porgy and Bess, directed by James Robinson. The first production to use the new Artiste Monet luminaires, lighting is by Tony Award-winning LD Donald Holder, the fifth opera he has designed for the Met since 2004 (The Magic Flute, Two Boys, Otello, Samson et Dalila).
Located on the Met’s repertory light bridges and at borderlight positions, Holder shares his experience using the Artiste Monet. “It’s a very powerful fixture with excellent colour rendering, dimming and optics,” he said. “Despite the high colour-temperature native source, we were able to achieve a fairly warm, natural-looking colour palette, certainly evocative of sun, candle and torchlight. The variable light to heavy frost option was extremely helpful when creating continuous backlight washes using several fixtures, or using the Monet for a single special with no apparent hard-edges.”
The first production of Porgy and Bess at the Met since 1990, the show has proved itself a triumph with critics praising both the cast and production. Performances ran through 16 October with the production returning for seven more performances in early 2020
(Jim Evans)

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