Guido’s Orchestra, the incredibly popular Dutch ensemble that fuses pop and classical music, performed their annual open-air concert in Kerkrade at the end of June. As this also happens to be the home town of ADJ Europe it was fitting that a lighting rig consisting entirely of ADJ’s fixtures – including 186 recently-released IP-rated outdoor units – was used to illuminate the performance which ran over two evenings and featured a number of guest performers.
Billed in full as The Maestro & The European Pop Orchestra, Guido’s Orchestra is the brainchild of conductor, violin soloist and composer Guido Dieteren. Having toured throughout Europe and North America as part of numerous traditional orchestras, Guido formed his own ensemble with the intention of performing the most famous melodies of all time from both the classical and pop worlds. Together with singer Wendy Kokkelkoren, who also happens to be his wife, and a group of young but extremely talented musicians, Guido has experienced huge success with both gold record releases and sold out concerts throughout Europe and around the world.
Every summer Guido’s Orchestra, together with a number of guest artists, perform an open air concert for their Dutch fans and for the past couple of years it has taken place in the picturesque market square in the middle of Kerkrade. This year’s concert was held on the last Saturday of June and had a truly international flavor thanks to guest performances by German vocalists VoXXclub and Australian 10-part harmony outfit The TEN Tenors. The latter’s involvement proved so popular that an extra night’s concert was added on the Sunday, which featured the group giving a headline performance that was filmed for a TV special, following a second concert by Guido’s Orchestra. The original Saturday concert, headlined by the Maestro himself, was also filmed for a future DVD release as well as a TV special due to be screened in Europe this fall.
With a crowd of thousands attending on both nights, TV crews ready to capture the performances and a vast orchestra on stage, the lighting production for the event had to be world-class. The responsibility for delivering this fell to Dutch production company U-Rent who used almost 300 ADJ lighting fixtures to create a light show that complemented and enhanced the wide variety of musical styles performed by the orchestra and their guests.
Proving that LED technology has truly come of age, all of the fixtures used for this outdoor production utilized LED light sources, which helped to reduce the amount of temporary power that had to be installed for the production. Although they had supplied the lighting for this show in the past, this was the first time U-Rent had used an all-LED, and indeed an all-ADJ rig.
“All the fixtures we used for the concert were carefully chosen during our preparation for the event,” explains U-Rent’s Natascha Huisman, “so we knew they would have both the required output and features. When we produced this show in the past we used well-established products from the likes of Martin and Robe, so we were looking for fixtures with the same output and effect. In this respect we didn’t downgrade the show, but actually upgraded it by using recently-released products. The ADJ fixtures worked extremely well, giving us the brightness and variety of effects we needed, while also proving reliable and easy to use.”
The aerial lighting rig consisted of eighteen clusters of fixtures, each comprising one of ADJ’s flagship Vizi CMY300 hybrid moving heads and two of ADJ’s new Vizi Wash Z19 moving head wash units. These were mounted to black pipes, connected at various heights to the roof of the stage, which blended in with a black background to give the impression the lights were floating in the air above the orchestra.
Harnessing the power of a 300W LED engine combined with precision-engineered optics, the Vizi CMY300 is a workhorse moving head luminaire that can function interchangeably as a beam, spot or wash. In addition to an impressive line-up of features – including motorized focus, motorized zoom, two rotating prisms and two GOBO wheels – the unit also boasts full CMY color mixing. This meant that for the Guido’s Orchestra concert the fixture could not only be used to project GOBO patterns onto the stage and create mid-air beam effects above the orchestra, but also to provide additional wash lighting in any desired color.
Launched earlier this year, the Vizi Wash Z19 is a compact yet punchy moving head wash fixture powered by nineteen 20W quad color RGBW LEDs. Offering a motorized zoom range of between 10 and 60-degrees, as well as control over a choice between three or seven LED zones, the versatile fixture can be used to generate wide washes and tight beams as well as ‘eye candy’ effects. For the Guido’s Orchestra concert they provided the primary source of color washing for the stage. In addition to the hanging clusters mentioned previously, ten of the fixtures were hung from both of the stage’s side walls and another seven were positioned behind the orchestra at the base of white column drapes that were used to break up the black backdrop.
Load in for the event took place on the Wednesday and Thursday, ready for a Friday night performance without an audience to allow full access to the film crew. This meant that, including the two public performances, the lighting rig was in place for a full five days and therefore the build quality of the fixtures was put to the test.
“On this week it was very hot in the Netherlands,” explains Natascha. “It was 36-40°C [97-104°F] during the day and up in the rooftop of stage the temperature hit 65°C [149°F], but the fixtures did their job very well and didn’t let us down. As this was an outdoor event, there was also the possibility of rain, so it was essential that we used IP-rated fixtures for the areas not covered by the roof of the stage.”
U-Rent installed ADJ’s 15 HEX BAR IP linear LED fixtures across the front of the stage, facing out towards the audience, as well as all the way around the curved roof structure. This versatile IP65-rated fixture features a line of fifteen 12W HEX (RGBWA+UV) LEDs grouped into five independently controllable zones of three LEDs. This makes it ideal for generating ‘eye candy’ effects, which is what was achieved on the Guido’s Orchestra production with chase patterns running all the way around the front perimeter of the stage.
Audience blinders are an essential part of most concert lighting rigs, especially those taking place outside, and for this production U-Rent selected ADJ’s modular Encore Burst 200 units for the task. This IP-rated fixture uses a pair of 110W warm white C.O.B LEDs to generate the intensity and color temperature of a traditional halogen lamp blinder but with a fraction of the power requirement. Thanks to a versatile design, it can be rigged in a variety of different ways and multiple units can be easily combined to create the common 2×2 and 2×4 blinder configurations. For the Kerkrade concert, twin clusters of the fixtures were positioned at equal intervals around the arch of the stage as well as on the side PA towers. In addition, a number of ADJ’s Encore Burst 100IP single blinder units were also used in the production. Some of these were mounted on the stage – using their integrated two-part floor stands – to serve as footlights for the orchestra, while others were mounted in the top of the roof structure allowing for an alternative blinder effect to that provided by the Encore Burst 200s.
Atmospherics for the concerts were also handled by ADJ products, with two Entourage faze machines alongside a pair of Entour Cyclone DMX-controlled fans filling the roof of the stage with a beam-enhancing mist. Meanwhile illumination of the orchestra itself was covered by ADJ’s FR150Z LED-powered Fresnel fixtures that were positioned at FOH as well as on the back of the moving head clusters. Powered by a 130W warm while LED engine, shining through an 8″ Fresnel lens, this flexible fixture offers a variable beam angle of between 8 and 50-degrees, making it ideal for illuminating both performers and scenery.
Away from the stage, ADJ fixtures were also used to provide ambient light in the market square, illuminating the buildings that surrounded the concert venue in colors that changed to synchronize with the show. Truss towers were erected around the square and rigged with ADJ 32 HEX Panel IP and 12P HEX IP wash fixtures as well as additional clusters of 4-way Encore Burst 200 blinders which were integrated into the show to allow the audience to be illuminated from every direction at specific moments within the performance.
Five days of hard work in Kerkrade paid off, with all three performances taking place without a hitch and lots of positive feedback about the production. “The stage looked magnificent and all of the people who worked on the show were very happy with it,” confirms Natascha. “We were also very happy that we were able to partner with ADJ on this event. The people who work there are on the same page with us and understand the meaning of this event for Kerkrade and all the countries in which it will be shown.”
The team at ADJ Europe certainly understands the importance of this event to the town of Kerkrade and is extremely pleased to have been able to contribute to the success of these local concerts.
Event: The Maestro Live in Kerkrade 2019
Photographer: Rob Claessen
18 x ADJ Vizi CMY300
65 x ADJ Vizi Wash Z19
40 x ADJ 15HEX BAR IP
50 x ADJ 12P HEX IP
12 x ADJ 32HEX Panel IP
50 x ADJ Encore Burst 100IP
34 x ADJ Encore Burst 200
20 x ADJ Encore FR150Z
2 x ADJ Entourage
2 x ADJ Entour Cyclone