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Chauvet Professional Helps Ignacio Rosenberg Connect New Look Il Divo Show to Crowd

"The group hasn't had video since before I started working with them, and it was a pleasure to have an extra layer of texture back on stage," says Rosenberg.

Forging into uncharted creative territory is nothing new for Il Divo. From the moment this group was formed under the auspices of Simon Cowell in London on December16, 2023, the dapper, multinational quartet essentially pioneered the genre of operatic pop, or "popera," in classical music.

Now, two decades and 160 certified gold and platinum hits later, the group remains as eager as ever to embrace bold, new ideas, not only in their music, but also their stage productions. This much is beautifully evident in their current 20th anniversary global tour, which is animated by a vibrant Ignacio (Iggy) Rosenberg lighting design that represents a dramatic departure from previous shows.

"This being the group's 20th anniversary tour, we wanted to give them a refreshed, modern look," says Rosenberg. "It was the best time for them to get a total revamp. Some of the band members had ideas they wanted (including lasers and video), and I wanted to minimize the orchestra to express the individual identities of the four singers more dramatically."

As part of new design, Rosenberg revamped the production's audience lighting. To accomplish this, he added eight Chauvet Professional Color STRIKE M fixtures, supplied by The Lighting Design Group, to his rig.

"The band loves seeing their audience," he says. "I wanted to push what we've done in the past in terms of audience blinders. A lot of these songs have these beautiful, bombastic endings, huge crescendos, and crashes. So, I wanted to sprinkle a bit more rock and roll in the set along with the audience lighting. We went with Strike Ms for this purpose. The IP rating of these fixtures was vital, because we're sometimes playing outdoors. Also, the venue sizes scale dramatically from smaller theaters to arenas on this global tour. There are times when we need unfettered brightness. The Color STRIKE M delivers that output, but we can also tone it down. I can make a fixture dimer if it's a smaller venue...but I can't make it brighter than 100%."

Working with lighting director Ivan Espada, production manager Eva Martinez Herrero, stage manager Corey Uriell, and tour manager Phil Marfleet, Rosenberg divided his show into three distinct textured layers: the band behind Il Divo, the video wall, and the lighting rig.

"The three layers of my design are really all about those singers on stage," he says. "This show is also very, very gobo heavy, which is a departure from what I usually do. I knew I wanted the lights up in the air and into the audience, while not overkilling things with light the whole show, so gobos really brought that balance.

"As I do in other shows that I design, the artist's lights are the most important, so we fought for automated follow spots and the boys are madly in love with that tech," continues Rosenberg. "We also worked with Randi Strong, who did all the stage movement making sure the boys had an outside perspective to what was happening on stage. Plus, we collaborated with Cheche Alara, who is doing their arrangements, all to have the entire show be congruent."

Rosenberg also incorporated video and lasers into his 90-minute show, both of which are new to his designs for Il Divo. "The group hasn't had video since before I started working with them, and it was a pleasure to have an extra layer of texture back on stage," he says. "David Miller (one of the members) is really into flmmaking so he helped edit the overture video, and we had a great chance to flex different creative muscles. Some of the content is very abstract, very monochromatic -- in my typical fashion -- and some of it is extremely narrative -- little movies for the song."

As he added all the various new elements into the lightshow for his iconic clients, Rosenberg kept his vision firmly fixed on one traditional element associated with Il Divo -- impeccable quality.

"The performers are super invested into what the show is," he says. "They're such an elegant group that they really want to know the end product reflects well. It's great because they're so different that they all intrinsically focus on different things: how tidy the stage is, how the video content looks, how the lights look, and every other design element."

In the end, as every fan who sees the 20th anniversary concert knows, this highly esteemed quartet got the kind of show it hoped for -- and more.


(21 May 2024)

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