DEINZE, BELGIUM – The historic medieval architecture, idyllic green open spaces of this quaint Belgian city, along with its rich schedule of engaging events, have consistently attracted a steady stream of visitors from nearby Ghent. But for its 40,000 culture-savvy residents, something was missing from their picture-perfect hometown: a city cultural center with theatre.
After decades of civic campaigning, the residents of Deinze recently achieved a long- awaited dream when the €10 million Leietheater opened. Perched in the town center, the theatre creates an immediate impression from the outside with its unique minimalist architecture. Inside, its multifaceted, modern productions are supported by a collection of CHAUVET Professional Ovation fixtures specified by the theatre itself, and supplied by Sotesa.
The task of fitting a modern lighting rig for the beautiful yet minimal construction of the 500-capacity theatre fell to the theatre’s Head of Technology, Jef Donné. Having previously used CHAUVET Professional fixtures in the live event sector, Donné was well aware of the advantages that the Ovation fixtures, with their exceptional dimming curve, color rendering and low energy consumption, could bring to the theatre.
“Being able to create our rig from scratch allowed us to harness the advantages associated with the Ovation’s LED technology, which essentially gave us the ability to future proof the theatre right from the get go,” commented Donné. “The collection of 36 Ovation E-930VW, 20 Ovation F-915VW, 20 Ovation F-915FC, 20 Ovation P-56VW and 20 Ovation P-56FC units gave us a mix of profiles, Fresnels and pars with which to secure a full spectrum of looks for a wide range of performances.”
With 12 Ovation E-930VW fixtures positioned on centrally mounted trussing for general front and key light, Donné was able to create the conditions for punchy and intensely bright stage illumination. The remainder of the Ovation fixtures were positioned to induce a number of scenarios for side and fill illumination, with the smooth dimming curve of the fixtures allowing seamless and unified scenes for classic theatrical looks.
“Both the warmth of the output and the dimming curve of the Ovations are akin to that of a conventional lamp, which was hugely important for the theatre,” continued Donné. “What’s more, the Ovations will help reduce the use of additional equipment such as dimmers and excessive wiring, which translates into additional savings in electricity consumption.”
The Leietheater’s lighting system also features eight Maverick MK1 Spot fixtures. These 350W LED fixtures, which offer CMY color mixing and a 5:1 zoom are used for live performances. Another key component within the entire installation is the ChamSys MQ80 console, which brings huge advantages with regards to flexibility of programming and control.
“It’s interesting to observe the stigma which some visiting productions have regarding LED,” concluded Donné. “But as soon as they see the results, the quality of the output of the rig is immediately evident. We’re more than happy with the end result – a fitting installation for the impressive theatre itself!”