Originating as a radio broadcast in 1925, the Grand Ole Opry is often called “the home of Country music.” Naturally, when country’s most famous stage decided to renovate some of the existing lighting show, each choice was scrutinized to the smallest detail, as CHAUVET COLORado 1 and COLORado 3 units were selected to replace 1000-watt cyclorama lights around the stage. Tyler Bryan, the Opry’s lighting director, says the COLORado units were chosen because they “blew the other units away.”
The first fixtures to be installed were 54 COLORado 1 units, which are used to illuminate separate vertical panels located around the stage for setting tone and ambiance as the Barn backdrop for the stage itself. The drop in electrical demand and increase in output has been remarkable, says Bryan, who added that LED technology has really caught up and surpassed many incandescent lighting sources. In fact, the COLORado’s extreme brightness made our TV shows challenging. Bryan solved the problem by removing the focusing lenses from some of the units, creating a wash effect that he says, “reads well on television cameras and provides very even dispersion.”
Twenty COLORado 3 wash lights were also installed at the Opry, with four in each of the “towers” located front stage left and right, another 12 units mounted near the walls, and one unit lighting the drum riser panels. Wall-mounted units are set-up in two different manners, with some of the fixtures mounted directly to the “barn”, and others mounted to portable carts that can be moved in and out of the area depending on the requirements of the running show.
Powering the 75 COLORado fixtures is greatly simplified by their internal power supplies and ability to daisy-chain. Meanwhile, an MA lighting Grand MA console gives the lighting operator control over not only the CHAUVET fixtures, but the Martin moving head units as well.With many live televised broadcast from the Opry (GAC Saturdays 7PM CST), having product readily available and working properly upon arrival was of utmost importance. Bryan says, “We hooked up 75 units without a single failure…things could not have gone smoother with CHAUVET and (retailer) Bandit Lites.”