Croatian National Theatre of Split Loves Robe

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The Croatian National Theatre of Split continues its commitment to Robe moving lights with regular rentals of ESPRITES to work well alongside their house LEDWash 600s which are in regular daily use in the venue’s 650 capacity main house. This operates a repertory programme throughout the year, packed with a wide range of drama, opera, and ballet productions.

Head of Lighting Branimir Bokan explained how they are also currently in the process of upgrading all their lighting to LED.

The first LED moving light purchase was the LEDWash 600s, but before that they had other Robes in the house with six ColorWash 575s purchased around 2007 which are still working hard.

This great experience and longevity were among the many reasons they continued to invest in Robe.

Bran, who has been working at the theatre for many years and involved with productions there since student days, likes the fact that Robe started as a small independent company and is still independent despite massive growth over the last decade. He thinks they have engaged in plenty of “smart product development” over the years, especially in relation to products suitable for theatre, like the T series range and others.

The Croatian National Theatre of Split first looked at Robe LED moving light fixtures after other influential theatres in Croatia took this route, including Zagreb Theatre and half a dozen other high-profile venues throughout the country … thanks to the hard work and foresight of Robe’s Croatian distributor, LAV Studio.

Bran notes that the first ColorSpot 575s made a massive difference back in the day when they were first introduced to the theatre. “It was like a revolution,” he declared, adding that after this it became easier to persuade the various creative directors and administrators that moving lights are a valuable asset and worth the investment.

Each summer the theatre goes dark, but the action moves to the streets and found spaces in and around the highly attractive ancient port of Spilt, Croatia’s second largest city nestling on the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea.

The 5-week summer festival programme involves all the Theatre staff and crew plus additional freelancers for the period, and its acclaimed programme of works attracts additional tourism. However, while the event also presents many technical challenges, this is precisely the problem solving and brain-teasing work that Bran loves along with his enthusiastic lighting department of eight people.

“Every day there is the chance to learn and try some new creative approaches working on this event,” he says with a big smile.

The summer festival scenario is where it is handy to have highly portable moving lights like the LEDWash 600 as these are also used extensively during this time. Bran lights several National Theatre of Split shows himself and the LEDWash 600 is a benchmark for wash requirements. “It is a perfect fit for our theatre,” he commented.

The 2021 festival was the first since the pandemic lockdowns, and six ESPRITES were acquired for “Don Juan” lit by french lighting designer Christian Gossard who originally asked for Robe Pointes, but loved the ESPRITES.

Bran was also very impressed with the performance of these. “The general quality of the light, the range of beautifully calibrated whites, the colour mixing etc., all of it is good, and make ESPRITE an ideal choice for lighting many different genres of theatre,” he concluded.

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