The Royal Albert Hall is one of the world’s most historic concert halls. It has housed over 155,000 live performances and has a capacity of up to 6,000. The iconic main hall plays host to a range of events to over 1.7 million visitors annually, whether it’s live concerts, the BBC Proms, tennis tournaments, Films in Concert promoted by the RAH, Cirque du Soleil and many more. The venue recently decided to invest in a range of Robert Juliat Cyrano 2500W HMI Followspots and approached White Light to make the purchase.
The Lighting Design Manager at the Royal Albert Hall is Richard Rhys Thomas. He comments: “My role covers a few broad areas, namely overseeing the running of the lighting department as well as delivering a high-quality lighting service to incoming as well as internally produced shows. I also have to oversee the upkeep and maintenance of the systems and installations, specifying new lighting equipment and improving the design of the lighting rig as needs change”.
It was Richard who decided that the previous rig required an upgrade of its existing followspots. He comments: “We wanted to replace our followspot provision with up-to-date and more efficient technology. Having used the Robert Juliat Cyrano magnetic version for years, we decided to upgrade and invest in the 2500W HMI electronic version”.
The Robert Juliat Cyrano 2500W HMI has a narrower beam angle making it perfect for really long throw distances found in large venues such as the Royal Albert Hall. Its glass progressive frost filter and dark blue dichroic filter offers even more subtle design possibilities. It also has an optional DMX-control of motorised dimmer shutter, progressive frost and lamp ignition.
Richard states: “The Cyrano is ideal for our needs for a number of reasons. Its output is great with a very flat field, the throw is ideal and the noise is generally very low. It has also proved to be very reliable in an environment where followspots are moved around on a day-to-day basis. We don’t have set followspot positions due to the nature of the building and the shows that we host here, so we need something that had some adaptability”.
The decision behind purchasing the Cyranos was also influenced by a demand from incoming designers. Richard adds: “The Cyranos are a long-standing favourite for internal and visiting lighting designers due to their consistency, brightness and colour. They also look great on camera which, for us, is very important due to the number of televised events that are hosted in the venue”.
The followspots have already been used on numerous shows including the BBC Proms, Later with Jools Holland and many more.
Richard adds: “We are delighted with the Cyranos. We have a long-standing relationship with WL, who also have an annual lighting service contract with us and replaced the houselights in our iconic mushroom-shaped acoustic diffusers, as well as installed new LED houselights back in 2016. We can always rely on their excellent support, experience and guidance for any project”.
Photos courtesy of Paul Karalius, Richard Thomas and Royal Albert Hall.