Germany – Hi-tech pixel lighting for an open-air theatre

Awarded as a national geotope in 2006, the Luisenburg Rock Labyrinth is a very popular tourist destination in northeast Bavaria, owing both to its amazing beauty and to the renowned theater festival – in German known as Luisenburg Festspiele - that every summer is held within its rocky amphitheatre. Located close to Wunsiedel,  this natural reserve is made up of granite blocks, which have been slowly eroded and shifted for thousands of years during the ice age till they have shaped themselves into a maze of well-rounded stones, random clustered to build romantic paths running through narrow clefts and steep steps. By the end of the 18th century the local population began to turn this rocky area into a countryside garden till it developed into a jewel of civic culture and landscape architecture.

Boosting a centenary tradition,  the Luisenburg Festival attracts every summer a large public eager to attend a vast array of theatrical performances played on this unconventional stage. Folk tragedies, comedies, children's plays, as well as operas, operettas and, more recently, musicals have been performed by professional artists on the rocky stage of Luisenburg Festival every year since 1914. A milestone in the history of the festival, this summer’s season was attended by over 131,000 enthusiastic visitors.

Main stage at Luisenburg Festival is a natural stony amphitheater, that works as a recurrent backdrop, enriched by only a few artificial theatrical elements - such as curtains, stairs and small stage accessories - added from time to time to the rocky scenery according to the different settings needed. Anyway, the lion’s share is played by the lighting system, capable of enhancing actors, backdrop or decorative elements according to the narrative plot.

For the 2013 season, a sophisticated lighting scheme was chosen for the foyer of the theatre by the appointed lighting designer Norbert Chmel of Project Light.  With the help of GRIVEN’s exclusive distributor for Germany, the company Ultralite Deutschland Haerle Lichttechnik GmbH, he has selected GRAPH-i-CELL to enhance the upper part of the theater entrance. “In the lighting concept that I have conceived specifically for the foyer of Luisenburg Festival theatre, an array of LED pixel units installed along the curved front edge of the prominent tent roof features a sort of luminous path. The serial arrangement of these single pixel units builds a sparkling crown on top of the theater entrance, making it detectable at a distance” states the German lighting designer.

Featuring 6 high brightness and power RGB or white LEDs, GRAPH-i-CELL is an IP65 rated single pixel fixture that can be easily assembled with other units of its kind to screen low resolution video files and graphic patterns. It can be integrated with the existing architecture or stage back drop while shaping a brand new outstanding ambience. GRAPH-i-CELL can accept, via DMX interface, any graphic, video or still image coming from a DVI media server and the configuration system can then store and trigger the show to a striking visual effect. GRAPH-i-CELL is fitted with a dome shaped 180° opaline diffuser to offer a sharp image rendition and an optimal peripheral visibility.

 “GRIVEN LED pixel lighting solutions  are high quality fixtures capable of working perfectly even in the often severe weather conditions of this region. Their intensive brightness matches well with the overall balance of the other lighting elements; their dome shaped opaline diffusers offer a perfect visibility from afar and a uniform layout  at a short distance, with no glare effect” asserts Norbert Chmel.
Photos: Norbert Chmel
Lighting designer: Norbert Chmel

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