Total Production

HSL Lights Opera Holland Park Season

August 2015

Lighting rental specialist HSL supplied stage lighting, sub-rigging and trussing, architectural and site-wide practical and decorative illumination, electrics, power distribution, and full public address announcement PA for the 2015 Opera Holland Park festival season in west London.


The 3-month performance run included five cutting edge opera productions staged in the tensile structure erected by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC) in its picturesque park, with the historical ruin of Holland House as an atmospheric backdrop.


HSL has been involved as a technical production supplier for the event for the last 12 years, in which time the lighting requirements and expectations have changed radically. What was once primarily a generic rig onstage now features nearly 90 moving lights, with another 200 light sources supplied by HSL to light the surrounding and immediately connected areas.


Over the last two years HSL has pushed towards lighting the site and gardens with an increasing amount of LED, because the event is keen to be as eco-conscious as possible.


Opera Holland Park is also a project that has been nurtured by HSL’s MD Simon Stuart, who commented: “We are always delighted to be involved in this high profile event and it’s a pleasure to work alongside Opera Holland Park’s general manager Michael Volpe and operations manager Kasete Skeen, together with the site LX crew, all of whom have worked hard to present top quality productions.”


HSL’s John Slevin project managed for the Blackburn-based company, and oversaw the get-in and build, undertaken by an HSL crew of seven including Jack Champion, who went on to become the chief LX for the run of performances.


The increased moving light count and other technology onstage gave the different lighting designers involved, Richard Howell, Howard Hudson, Tim Mascall and Mark Jonathan, the flexibility and scope they needed to light five very diverse productions. More moving lights on the rig also made the changeovers quicker and smoother.


HSL made available six of their new SGM G-Spot moving lights, utilised in key strategic positions around the exterior of the tensile structure, gardens, entranceways and three large hospitality marquees. 


The production lighting rig has been developed and tweaked by HSL over the years and this year featured 87 moving lights including nine Martin MAC 3s, eight Martin MAC 2K XBs, 24 Robe ColorWash 750 Tungstens and 32 Robe REDWash 3.192s. These were positioned on a series of overhead and advance trusses, sub-hung from the tensile roof superstructure that was temporarily installed at the site. 


The moving lights were joined by 40 ETC Source Four profiles with assorted lenses and 16 PAR cans with a mix of CP61 and 62 bulbs. All these conventional fixtures were spread out across the trusses, over stage and above the audience, and on eight side-stage booms.


Two Robert Juliat Korrigan follow spots were on hand if needed and an ETC EOS console ran all the lighting via two separate partitions, one for the stage / production lighting and one for all the site elements, complete with an Ion desk for backup.


The desk was operated for the shows by Champion and his two deputy LXs, Paul Walmsley and Callum Humphries.


The site lighting was a mix of 200 practical and safety lights plus some of the decorative aspects covering all the public areas including bars and walkways, together with five distinctive areas: Dutch Gardens Lounge, the Picnic Deck, the Terrace Lounge, the Oak Room and the Foyer Bar.


In addition to the already mentioned SGM G-Spots, these LED fixtures including Robe CitySkape 48s, CitySource 96s and LEDForce 18 PARs, JTE PixelPAR 87s and Chroma-Q Color Block 2s, were spread throughout, highlighting the structures, pathways, trees and foliage.


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