White Light Supplies New Lighting Fixtures to Glyndebourne

Located in the heart of the Sussex countryside, Glyndebourne is one of the most renowned and celebrated opera houses in the world, delivering performances to over 150,000 people on an annual basis. Every Summer, it normally hosts the Glyndebourne Festival: a world-class opera season which plays to audiences in its state-of-the-art indoor auditorium. The technical team at Glyndebourne recently decided to upgrade parts of the lighting rig within the auditorium, ensuring that it matched both the exacting standards of incoming lighting designers and the venue itself. As such, it approached White Light (WL) to assist.






Having first opened in 1934, Glyndebourne is a venue rich in both history and tradition. It is also one in which audiences expect an operatic experience like no other and, as such, has to ensure that the technical infrastructure in place is able to offer this. Vic Pyne, Head of Lighting and AV at Glyndebourne, comments: “We have been working on a general overhaul of our basic lighting rig for the past couple of years, mainly because our in-house lighting rig mainly consisted of tungsten and HMI fixtures; the majority of which are nearly 15 – 30 years old.  In addition, we were keen to support Glyndebourne’s environmental commitments, and the use of LED fixtures would mean that our energy consumption would be significantly reduced. With sets increasing in complexity, flying space at a premium, not to mention many fixtures becoming increasingly redundant in today’s lighting designs, we took the advantage of last year’s unexpected downtime to properly explore what options were open to us in terms of a footlight solution to replace our old LDDE fluorescent units”.  






Vic and her team approached Business Development Manager Jonathan Haynes to decide on what fixtures they required. Vic explains: “As a venue, we are always striving to keep up-to-date with the latest technology and were particularly keen to ensure we invested in LED fixtures as part of this upgrade. Not only are these able to provide the looks required by designers but their quietness is a necessity in a venue such as ours.  Certain designers had requested specific units, that were unavailable to us except to hire at vast expense from European hire houses, and it made financial sense to settle on a common solution for our repertory basic rig.’ 






Having demoed a number of fixtures with support from the team at WL and manufacturers, Vic and the team decided to invest in the LDDE HP2880 Footlights. She states: “The Footlights offered us a range of fantastic features, such as impeccable brightness, shadow image, colour mixing and ease of use; not to mention the incredibly useful barndoor assembly.  Plus LDDE have been reliable in the past and we’re confident that this will continue going forward.’






Vic also decided to continue their investment in the GLP XBar 20. She explains: “Almost every designer that comes through our doors requests the GLP battens; it is clear that they are a staple fixture for any lighting rig. They are compact, hugely versatile, great colour mixing, and we had known for some time that we needed to purchase some!’.






The new, energy efficient parts of the lighting rig are now being used as part of this year’s Glyndebourne Festival which makes a much welcome return next month, following the cancellation of last year’s season. 






Vic concludes: “We are all really looking forward to the season opening and seeing how the designers utilise the new fixtures across the various productions. I’d like to say a big thanks once again to Jonathan and the team at WL who offered excellent customer service and for whom nothing was too much trouble; particularly during what was a very stressful and uncertain time for so many of us in the industry”.






Photo credit © Glyndebourne Productions Ltd. Photo: James Bellorini




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