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4Wall New York Takes Flight with Mannes School of Music

By on Jul 7, 2015
Posted in Press Releases

New York, NY- 4Wall New York recently provided equipment to the Mannes School of Music for the New York premiere of Flight, an operatic drama based on the true-life story of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, an Iranian refugee who lived inside the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris for several years. 

Operating under the umbrella of the New School, the opera program within Mannes School is under the direction of noted conductor and musical director Joseph Colaneri.  Flight is the second Mannes School New York premiere that Colaneri has overseen.

Staged at the Gerald Lynch Theatre at John Jay College, the libretto of Flight focused on the transformational experience of a number of characters stranded overnight in an airport. 

Moving into the space (which lacked a house rig of any kind) just twenty hours prior to the cast spacing rehearsal, Lighting Designer Jeff Davis turned to 4Wall for the lighting equipment necessary for the production.  Davis’ lighting design would become a central part of the story itself by creating all of the color on set.

“The creative team decided that the set should be black, grey and white, with all of the color provided by the lighting,” said Davis.  “The opera takes place in a twenty-four hour period, which of course has the required time of day changes.  Additionally, there is a prolonged series of thunder and lightning storms.  We also needed to create the effect of a plane taking off multiple times, as well as a plane landing.”

A diverse gear list helped Davis and his Associate, Brian Barnett, create the necessary looks for the production.

Vari-Lite VL3500 fixtures were used as side light and specials, while Martin MAC Quantum LED Wash units were used for backlight. 

“With the exception of five VL3500s that were dedicated as specials, the remainder of the overhead rig remained in one focus/beam palette and changed color.  They were also most effective in creating the lightning effects,” said Davis.

ETC Source Four Series 2 Lustr LEDs were utilized to light portals and create “storms”, while also changing color constantly to impart the time of day.  Chroma-Q Color Force battens meanwhile were employed to light and reinforce the geometry of the set’s translucent backdrop.  Davis spoke highly of the Color Forces’ performance:


“Individual control of each cell of the Color Force LEDs allowed for spectacular lightning effects throughout the extensive storm sequence,” he said. 

“Since 2008, 4Wall has been our go to resource for moving lights, and lighting rentals in general. We love the shop because the equipment is impeccably maintained, making it extremely reliable. There is also an amazing focus on customer support, which makes a job that can be challenging much less stressful. On this production we were able to arrange time in the demo room to put together color palettes and do some console set up, which saved us invaluable time in the theatre. It is always great to know that the entire 4Wall New York office has your back.”


For more information on the Mannes School of Music, visit www.newschool.edu/mannesw
For more information on Jeff Davis, visit www.stuffco.org