Ayrton Cobra Raises its head in Athens as ‘Desmond Child Rocks the Parthenon’
The « Desmond Child Rocks the Parthenon” show took place in front of a 5000-strong audience at the historic Roman amphitheatre of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens at the end of June.
This massive ancient theatre, located on the slopes of the Acropolis, has a history going back over 2000 years and has hosted many world-renowned artists who have played against its magnificent backdrop.
Lighting designer George Tellos and his team from Lighting Art in Athens had the pleasure of creating the lighting design for this incredible evening of rock music that celebrated the songs of the legendary Desmond Child.
Guest artists included Alice Cooper, Bonnie Tyler, Rita Wilson, Sakis Rouvas and The Rasmus, as well as Lena Hall, Kip Winger, Chris Willis, Tabitha Fair, Justin Benlolo and Andreas Carlsson.
“Our work became even more important when we realised that we need to visualise these awesome songs like Kiss’s I Was Made for Lovin’ You, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’ I Hate Myself for Loving You, Bon Jovi’s You Give Love a Bad Name, Livin’ on a Prayer, Bad Medicine, and Born to Be My Baby, as well as Aerosmith’s Dude (Looks Like a Lady), Angel, What It Takes and Crazy,” says Tellos.
Other songs on the night included Cher’s We All Sleep Alone and Just Like Jesse James; Michael Bolton’s How Can We Be Lovers?; Ricky Martin’s The Cup of Life and Livin’ la Vida Loca and Alice Cooper singing Poison.
“All the songs in the show are legendary and incredibly well-loved by the audience,” says Tellos. “We had many discussions at the office about how we would approach the concept.”
Because the Open Air Ancient Theatre has no rigging options other than nine fixed up stage positions in the arches, Tellos and his team decided to place all the lighting fixtures on the floor. “We deployed and used them to give shape to the stage and define its basic elements, such as the semi-circular outline and the raked entrance ramp. We also focused as much as possible on the architecture of the Odeon by lighting the arches and columns,” he explains.
“The Amphitheatre stage is visible from every angle and the stage floor worked as a canvas for us to paint on. We wanted to find a new technology that could work harmoniously with the surroundings of an ancient theatre – a fixture whose beam was completely controllable and different from what we are used to. At that point,Ayrton had just announced its new moving light, Cobra, a remarkable laser-sourced IP65 rated fixture. As soon as we saw it, we were immediately convinced that this was the right tool that would fit our canvas.”
Tellos used 12 of the new Cobra fixtures to light the main entrance of the artists on the raked catwalk stage. “The clear, bright and tight beam of Cobra’s laser engine was just stunning,” he says.
“We placed 20 Eurus Profile S around the edge of the semi-circular stage which created an amazing outline, either as aerial beams or as floor ‘enhanced footlights’. This was especially effective for Alice’s Coopers Poison when we created a dynamic ring of fire outlined with the Eurus Profile S – it was a perfect fit for that moment!
“Last but not least, we placed 12 Perseo Beam – an awesome fixture – behind the band and used them as punch light and for aerial effects. It really was the workhorse in our rig.
“I am impressed by the Ayrton refinement as well as the product reliability,” concludes Tellos. “The company has a remarkable design strategy and very serious management. I also want to thank the local Ayrton dealer, Immex, for the important support they have given us.”
The Desmond Child Rocks the Parthenon Show was directed by Fokas Evangelinos and produced by Renos Papapashos
Lighting Art Team:
Lighting Design: George Tellos
Lighting Programmer: Panagiotis Tsevrenis
Lighting Coordination: Eirini Samartzi
Lighting Programmer: George Mavronas
Lighting Assistant: Christina Kitsiou
Video content: Ionee Waterhouse
Photography: © D. Koutsis
Text: Julie Harper